COLOMBO – The US embassy in Colombo, donated a mobile testing unit to the Regional Health Services in Moneragala last month, as part of the effort to fight COVID-19 in Sri Lanka and protect lives through early detection.
The US embassy in a statement issued on Wednesday (13), said the mobile unit – an ambulance equipped with necessary facilities- was handed over to Dr. B.M.C. Dasanayaka, Director Regional Health Services in a virtual ceremony on December 22. Dr. Dasanayaka has since retired.
It said the mobile unit administers PCR tests and provides vital health services to 100 people daily in Moneragala communities hit hard by the pandemic, adding that the unit also enables safe sample collection by avoiding direct contact and can be used in future for testing other communicable diseases, including dengue.
“By making COVID-19 tests and other health related services accessible to rural communities, the United States is helping mitigate some of the profound human and economic losses caused by the pandemic,” said US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz, during the virtual ceremony.
The statement said the donation was funded by the US Government’s development arm the US Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Social Cohesion and Reconciliation project.
It said the US Government has provided US$ 6 million in aid to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, explaining that the assistance has helped prepare laboratory systems; activate case-finding and event-based surveillance; support technical experts for response and preparedness; support risk communication; and address infection prevention and control. In addition, US assistance is also supporting social services for communities most impacted by COVID-19, helping build social cohesion, mitigating negative economic impacts by strengthening small and medium-sized enterprises, and increasing women’s economic participation, it added.