Written by Staff Writer
05 Aug, 2015 | 5:01 pm
Earlier this week President Maithripala Sirisena addressed the Colombo based diplomatic community and representatives of international organisations with the aim of seeking assistance to combat chronic kidney disease in the country.
The president who met with the members of the diplomatic community at the Presidential Secretariat noted that around 1000 people die annually due to chronic kidney diseases and requested the assistance of the international community to implement the national plan that has been drawn up. President Sirisena observed that the drinking water problem has been identified as one of the main causes of this issue. He also noted that even though facilities in hospitals throughout the country were improved to treat the kidney patients, the rising number of patients had led to various difficulties.
There was an overwhelming response from the international community towards the request made by President Maithripala Sirisena.
Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang said that China would build a 100 million dollar specialised hospital to treat the mysterious kidney disease that is striking mainly rice farmers in Sri Lanka. He added that water samples from affected areas are being studied at the Chinese Academy of Science with the aim of identifying the actual cause of the disease. Ambassador Xianliang who pledged Chinese assistance to ensure a clean water supply to the affected areas also noted that China will continue to collaborate with Sri Lanka to fight chronic kidney diseases.
The representative of the World Health Organisation extended support to further investigate the causes of the illness, while the EU representative stated that the EU would increase donations for drinking water projects in Sri Lanka. Indian High Commissioner Y.K. Sinha pledged to support water projects in Polgahawela, Kundasale and Kalutara, while the Japanese Government agreed to make donations for 60,000 kidney patients in Anuradhapura.
Meanwhile the Australian High Commissioner said that Australia would assist in launching a drinking water project that would provide clean drinking water for 100,000 people in the North.
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