The objective is to support the buying of equipment needed to establish the Operating Theatre at Chavakachcheri Base Hospital. The Operation Theatre will be established within the two-storey building already built, and will become part of the services offered at the hospital.
The Thenmaradchi Development Association (TDA), a registered charity in Sri Lanka and the UK that has established branches in many parts of the world, helps to coordinate the fundraising activity to purchase the equipment. The fund-raising activity will be very open and transparent and will exclusively set up a process for this hospital initiative.
The TDA will approach the global Tamil diaspora community through its global branches and also seek the funding possibilities of global organisations who used to fund similar projects. The fund-raising activity is led by the Global TDA Health Committee. The funding and status will be reported regularly to the members of the Hospital, Northern Province Health Authority and the TDA Global committee. The Chavakachcheri hospital team will lead the activities in the ground to establish the Operating Theatre once the equipment is received.
About Chavakachcheri Base Hospital
Chavakachcheri Base Hospital has been serving the people of Thenmaradchi, Northern Province in Sri Lanka since 1932. People from adjacent villages including Vadamaradchi boarder villages, Poonakery division also visit to acquire hospital services. This is the main hospital for more than 100,000 people (250 sq.km area) from Poonakery to Navatkuli, spanning a distance of around 92 km. Approximately 300,000 patients were treated at the hospital for the last three years. In addition to Out Patient Department (OPD), the hospital services in four specialities: Medicine, Paediatrics, Surgery, and Obstetric and Gynaecology. The hospital also has Dialysis unit for CKD, Mental health unit, Alcohol Rehabilitation unit, Gender based violence (Natpu-Nilliam) unit, Physiotherapy unit, and General Clinics. In addition, the hospital provides Laboratory, Radiological, and Judicial services. The hospital currently has a total of 200 beds, with a 60-70% occupancy rate. Members of staff include 29 Consultant and Medical Officers, 49 Matron and Nursing Staffs, and 105 other Support Staffs who all serve the hospital on a full-time basis.
The Chavakachcheri Base Hospital currently does not have an operating theatre. Patients from the region in desperate need of life-saving operations are forced to transfer by ambulance to the main Jaffna hospital. Approximately 2000 patients were relocated to Jaffna Teaching hospital every year for urgent operations due to the lack of facilities available at Chavakachcheri Hospital. The patients need these treatments avoid the Chavakachcheri hospital and directly visit Jaffna Teaching hospital travelling several miles away from their town.
Operating Theatre at Chavakachcheri Base Hospital
The Chavakachcheri Base Hospital had a fully functioning Operating Theatre that was built in late 1990s. This was fully destroyed during the Civil War in 2002. The image below depicts the portion of the hospital affected by the war. While the main hospital was rebuilt and reopened post-war, the Operating Theatre was not restored again. Patients requiring operations are now transferred 10 miles away northward, to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.
A project to rebuild the Operating Theatre began in 2015 with the support of the Word Bank funding. The plan was to establish an Accident and Emergency Department and an Operating Theatre in a separate building within the hospital grounds. As part of this initiative, a new two-storey block was built with the intention of having an Emergency Department on the ground floor and an Operation Theatre on the first floor. The picture of the two-storey building is shown below. Though the building was completed, inadequate funding meant crucial equipment needed to perform operations could not be purchased. On that account, the project was halted indefinitely.
Benefits to the Community
Having an Operation Theatre at Chavakachcheri Hospital will provide a lifeline for the 100,000 people of Thenmaradchi alongside populations living in adjacent villages. Treating common and minor operations on-site, including injury and obstetric-related procedures, can reduce complications and minimise suffering for patients in need. An Operating Theatre can prevent avoidable deaths and long-term illness due to delays in treatment.
The hospital is located along the main A9 highway that connects the North with the South of Sri Lanka. It is a single carriageway where vehicles travel in both directions at very high speeds. Recent data shows a large proportion of major accidents occur along this A9 road. Chavakachcheri Base Hospital is the largest and closest hospital along the 80 km A9 road. Fast, life-saving operations for patients injured along the way can save lives. It is convenient, quicker and cheaper to treat accidents and injuries if an Operation Theatre is available at Chavakachcheri hospital.
Patients who need an operation are currently transferred to the Teaching Hospital Jaffna due to a lack of facilities in Chavakachcheri. This process is not always straightforward. The availability of an ambulance at the hospital, the availability of operation slots at Jaffna hospital, and other priorities decides how fast the patients get the treatment they need. With the Jaffna Teaching Hospital being the primary Teaching Hospital in the Northern province, there is a large influx of patients and treatments can be delayed. In addition, health care facility closer to their home will have many other benefits (saving of time and money and more family support etc.) to the patients and families.
An Operation Theatre at Chavakachcheri Hospital can reduce the number of patients and alleviate some of the workload at Jaffna Hospital as well. Issues in Teaching hospital Jaffna are overcrowding and floor patients (due to lack of beds). Teaching hospital Jaffna as a tertiary care facility for the entire northern province can focus on more complex surgeries (cardiac, neuro, vascular and cancer surgeries) and undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and training.
Equipment Needed and the Estimated Costs – Fundraising Target
Based on the quotations obtained, TDA together with the medical professionals in the Northern Health department, the recommended products were identified and estimated the overall equipment cost as below. The cost in British Pounds and US Dollars are estimated based on a reasonable exchange rate considering the fluctuations and the rate for the last one year.
Considering additional contingencies and cost fluctuations, TDA and Hospital management agreed to target Sri Lanka Rupees 14 million. Converting that in to @255 and @180 rate for British Pounds and US Dollars, the target amount is £55,000 or US$ 78,000
Project phases and Governance
The project has two phases: fundraising part and the implementation part. Thenmaradchi Development Association (TDA) will lead the fundraising phase and the local Hospital Management will be responsible for implementing the project to establish the Operating Theatre and the Accident and Emergency Unit, once the equipment is purchased.
Governance During Fundraising
About Thenmaradchi Development Association
Thenmaradchi Development Association (TDA), a non-political and non-racial non-profit organisation, has been formed with the sole purpose of supporting the people of Thenmaradchi in Education, Health and Industrial Development and successfully operating since 2005. TDA (Sri Lanka) is a registered charity (Registration Number: TN/SS/TDAC/2019/01) in Sri Lanka, and selects members through written constitution. TDA (SL) is currently chaired by Professor K Kandasamy, the former Competent Authority, University of Jaffna, Mr Balachandran, TDA Secretary, former President of Thenmaradchi Cooperative Society.
TDA UK is a registered charity organisation (Charity Number:1115337) in UK was created in 2006 with the objective of supporting educational, socio-economical, healthcare and medical needs of the people of Thenmaradchi. Separate TDA branches exist in number of countries Canada, Australia, Norway, Germany, France, Sweden. With the support and voluntary contribution from the people in the region and overseas, the TDA successfully executed or promoted several projects to enhance education, sports, medical facilities, and small industries. TDA has global network of diaspora community who contributed more than SL Rupees 55 lakh for the last three years for various development projects. TDA Global team that comprises members from each region will drive this initiative with a close coordination with the Chavakachcheri Hospital Management team.
VISIT TDA UK Website for more info about TDA and the Projects done over the years: https://thenmaradchi.org/
TDA Global Contacts
Donation to the Project:
a. Directly through Money Giving Charity Link
b. Donate to Sri Lanka Bank
Bank: People’s Bank Chavakachcheri, Sri Lanka (SWIFT Code (BIC) – PSBKLKLX023)
AC Name: Thenmaradchy Development Association.
AC No: 110-2-002-5-0063948