Photographed from L-R: B A Mahipala – Chairman, Bamunuarachchi Foundation, (partially covered) Kanchana Jayaratne – Private Secretary to the Health Minister, Hon. (Dr.) Bandula Gunawardana – Minister of Trade Hon. Pavithra Wanniarachchi – Minister of Health, Supun Weerasinghe – Group Chief Executive, Dialog Axiata PLC, Dr. Sunil de Alwis – Additional Secretary, Medical Services, Ministry of Health, Dr. Janitha Hettiarachchi, Medical Superintendent, Homagama Base Hospital
Dialog Axiata PLC (Dialog), Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, on the request of the Ministry of Health, gifted a fully functional 10 bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to the Homagama Base Hospital. This initiative forms a part of the company’s ongoing commitment to empower the national health care efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April 2020, Dialog pledged a sum of Rs 200 Million towards the upliftment of Critical Health Infrastructure associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The hallmark pledge by Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider enabled the commissioning of a 10-bed ICU at the Negombo Hospital as the first step. It also enabled high-speed PCR testing at the Bandaranaike International Airport, drastically reducing testing and reporting time from 8 hours to approximately 2.5 hours.
The fully functional ICU complex at Homagama Base Hospital is equipped with a negative pressure unit that has been specially designed to effectively handle infectious diseases such as the Coronavirus and comes complete with state-of-the-art ICU equipment advancing the hospital’s capability to serve critical patients. This initiative aims to lessen the pressure on medical staff treating patients with acute illnesses, and add greater value to the training of doctors in intensive care whilst also acting as a catalyst to improve healthcare systems in the district.
Commenting on this occasion, Hon. Pavithra Wanniarachchi – Minister of Health stated, “Dialog Axiata, which has contributed immensely towards the upliftment of the health sector, is a company with a big heart. At the beginning of the pandemic, when we reached out to Dialog to support us with our national efforts towards mitigating COVID-19, Dialog pledged Rs. 200 Million right away to uplift the country’s critical health infrastructure. This pledge facilitated a fully-fledged 10-bed ICU at the Negombo General Hospital and also a Hi-Speed robotic PCR testing at Bandaranaike International Airport. The ICU development at Homagama Base Hospital is the latest initiative that has come to fruition as a result of all these efforts for which we, as Sri Lankans, as a nation, are immensely grateful for.”
Commenting, Hon. (Dr.) Bandula Gunawardana – Minister of Trade said, “One of the shortfalls that the Homagama Base hospital, which treats many people, has had for a long time was an established ICU. We are proud to witness the launch of this fully-fledged ICU at the Homagama Base Hospital, complete with all the latest, cutting-edge equipment required for critical care. On behalf of the Government, I would like to express our gratitude towards Dialog Axiata, for taking the initiative and making this a possibility.”
Commenting, Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC said, “Amidst a year of unprecedented crises, we appreciate the opportunity to establish a fully functional 10-bed ICU at the Homagama Base Hospital as part of our commitment towards supporting the national efforts aimed at combating COVID-19. While we continue to help our communities stay connected, adapt, and get through this pandemic with our inclusive service offerings, this initiative will strengthen our nation’s capacity to respond to public health emergencies. We are thankful to our customers for their loyalty and the confidence placed on Dialog, enabling us help our country during these challenging time.”