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About the Project
In Batticaloa-Sri Lanka
Despite advancement in certain aspects of life in Sri Lanka, it is still a developing nation with insufficient public funds to provide appropriate medical and hospital facilities in rural areas. Batticaloa is one such area, located nearly 350 kilometres from Colombo on the far eastern coast of the country. Even though it has the largest tertiary care institution in the Eastern Province it has pressing needs for modern facilities and more operating theatres to provide adequate and appropriate care to the nearly two million citizens who live in that area as it serves the population from Trincomalee in the north, Polonnaruwa in the west and as far as Ampara in the south.

It has 32 wards with 900 beds. However, the average number of people seeking emergency ,accident or orthopaedic treatment every day is about 700. In addition another 600 seek special care each day. Of these about 200 are admitted daily for treatment in the wards. About 40 are transferred for specialized treatment at the teaching hospital. It is here that we wish to see a better facility constructed.

The devastating tsunami of 2004 took caring volunteers, such as Dr David Young, a leading Orthopaedic Surgeon from Australia, to that hospital where he witnessed the tragedy of human suffering. Many needed urgent medical and surgical help, but the resources were grossly insufficient to deliver the relief.

David and his team could not operate for lack of equipment, materials and surgical devices. He left distraught and pledged that he would return one day to help re-build the facilities. Since that time, there was a problem with access due to the civil war that raged and it was impossible to go there with volunteers.

Now that there is peace and access is possible, David is keen to get the project off the ground and has appealed for the well trained and dedicated staff of medical doctors and surgeons to "hang in there'' whilst a workable and appropriate facility is built within two years. A better facility will also enable more pro-bono workers from advanced countries to volunteer their services; something that cannot be gained now for lack of facilities like proper operating rooms.
The Batticaloa teaching hospital is a government owned facility. If we wait for the government, it will take a lot longer to achieve the goal. So, David met with the Minister for Health, Hon Maithripala Sirisena, and proposed a public-private partnership on the basis of a matching the amount of government funding with donations and sponsorships raised from the private sector in both Sri Lanka and overseas. This appeared to be of interest to the Minister and he has asked for a formal proposal to be submitted to his Ministry. This proposal is being prepared for submission by the end of 2011 along with architectural plans and professional estimates for the entire project.
The plan is to have a National trauma service in Sri Lanka that links the regional hospitals. Karapitiya near in Galle received a lot of attention after the tsunami as the Galle hospital was inundated and there were huge demands for help to cope with the massive influx of patients at Karapitiya. This being a teaching hospital, like Batticaloa, also deserved the support. The Emergency, Accident and Orthopaedic facilities at Karapitiya needed upgrading and this has been achieved with aid from the State Government of Victorian in Australia & Sri Lankan governments as well as international medical suppliers such as Stryker. The United Nations supervised and project-managed the facility, that cost nearly US$5.5 million. The facility was opened by Professor David de Kretser, then Governor of Victoria. Professor de Kretser has graciously agreed to be the patron of BEAP (Batticaloa Emergency & Accident Project).

Our vision is to help make Batticaloa the next link in the chain so that people badly injured from farming, industrial, recreational and road accidents as well as those suffering from congenital deformities, can be treated there, rather than having to be transported or air-lifted to Kandy, Colombo, Galle and other more distant locations.
The project is estimated to cost half that of Karapitiya because it is smaller in size. Cost estimates include interior fit-outs, furniture, ward beds, equipment, theatre equipment and essential surgical instruments and landscaping.

The aim is to provide incentives to large and medium sized Sri Lankan corporate organisations to provide sponsorships/donations out of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budgets and raise US$ 1 million, the international corporations such as Johnson & Johnson to provide a further US$ 1 million and for the Sri Lankan government to provide US$ 2million dollars, to make up the US$ 4 million dollars for the project.
The raising of funds for charitable purposes has to be done with the utmost due diligence and prudential controls. To this end we are in the midst of registering the foundation named "Foundation supporting a National Trauma service in Sri Lanka" under a trust structure with four reputable people acting as trustees. A dedicated bank account will then be opened to collect pledged funds until the desired amount is raised and there is an agreement in place with the government of Sri Lanka to hand over the funds specifically for this project.
The project itself will be named "Batticaloa Emergency & Accident Project" (BEAP) and will have as its President Dr David Young, supported by Nihal de Run. Both are residents of Melbourne, Victoria and will travel to Sri Lanka, as needed to work with the committees and oversee progress.

In Colombo there will be a Management team comprising 10 well regarded, reputable and capable people who will drive the fundraising effort. They will be able to seek advice and guidance from an Advisory Council of highly respected and well credentialed people, on matters ranging from legal, financial, political and fundraising.

The other committee will be known as the Project Steering Committee, based in Batticaloa. That committee is made up of the doctors, surgeons and medical staff, deeply involved and concerned about creating this facility. They will work with architects, designers and project engineers to bring the building and its facilities to fruition. All working parties will be linked to Nihal de Run, the overall co-ordinator and in turn to the President Dr David Young, in Melbourne, Australia.
In addition, we are privileged to have 3 famous International Cricketers, Mutthiah Muralidharan, Dav Whatmore and Shane Watson, agree to be our Project Ambassadors. Their names will add weight to the fundraising effort.

Revised by
JT - 24/9/2011
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