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Health conditions among Vanni detainees deteriorate

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 16:36 No Comment]

Vanni civilians held in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) detention centres in Jaffna and Vavuniyaa are suffering from serious health conditions due to lack of medicines, proper medical treatment and poor sanitary facilities, Jaffna Health Department sources said. A 29-year-old woman from Maamoolai, Mu’l’liyava’lai from Vanni held in Raamavil detention centre, suspected to be suffering from septicaemia, died on 6 May in Jaffna Teaching Hospital.

The woman who died was identified as R. Janani, 29, who had been in Puthumaaththa’an in Vanni during the war.

Both her legs had lost function as she had been continuously crouching in a bunker.

Janani’s body was handed over to her mother Rooparany by Jaffna Teaching Hospital authorities.

Infectious diseases among the detainees are spreading fast in the SLA detention centres in Jaffna and Vavuniyaa.

Deaths due to lack of medicine and poor health conditions are on the increase in these detention centres.

Meanwhile, SLA permits the civilians held in the detention centres in Jaffna to receive medical treatment only in Chaavakachcheari government hospital which had been badly damaged in 2000 SLA offensives.

Though the hospital is being renovated the patients admitted have to lie on bare ground and in the vehicle sheds as there are no patients wards in the hospital.

Besides, the hospital, due to lack of medicines and other necessary facilities is not capable of treating the patients coming from the SLA detention centres.

SLA permits only patients in critical condition to be admitted to Jaffna Teaching Hospital.

Janani who died on 6 June had been admitted to Jaffna Teaching Hospital on 30 May.

There are more than 13,000 civilians from Vanni held in the SLA detention centres in Jaffna and Chaavakachcheari government hospital is the only place where they are allowed to get medical treatment.

Meanwhile, an acute shortage of medicines prevail in Jaffna as the Health Department has not sent sufficient medicines to meet the needs of Jaffna peninsula residents, Health Department sources in Jaffna said.

It is to be noted that Sri Lanka Health Minister, Nimal de Sripala, has been elected as the Chairman of the World Health Organization Executive Board in its 123rd session in May 2008.

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