13th May 2021, Major General Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Mr. Yamada Tetsuya, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sri Lanka Office have signed a Bilateral agreement between the two parties representing the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka and JICA for JICA’s emergency technical cooperation grant named the Project for Strengthening COVID-19 Response. Senior officials from the Ministry of Health and JICA Sri Lanka Office, including Dr. Sunil De Alwis, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Mr. Takashima Kiyofumi, Senior Representative, JICA Sri Lanka Office also attended the occasion, held at the Ministry of Health, Colombo strictly adhering to the health guidelines and the COVID-19 preventive measures.
This project primarily focuses on provision of equipment, which are essential to cope up with COVID-19 treatment during this emergency such as Ventilators, ICU beds, Ultra sound scanners, blood gas analyzers..etc. These equipment and materials are to be provided in selected four hospitals, namely Base Hospital Teldeniya, Base Hospital Warakapola, Base Hospital Walikanda, and Base Hospital Pimbura. In addition, the project will provide equipment for establishing a PCR laboratory in District General Hospital Hambantota to strengthen its infection diagnostic capacities in the Sothern Province where currently experiencing many challenges to expedite PCR tests. Further, the project provides training seminars to medical staff in these selected hospitals on strengthening nosocomial infection prevention, patient safety, and case management under spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases through Japanese Experts remotely. Total budget allocation to this project is 1.8 Million USD (approximately Rs.350 Million) under Japan’s Official Development Assistance. JICA believes this project will be able to significantly contribute to the COVID-19 testing, diagnosis, and treatment in Sri Lanka and to mitigate the difficult situation the country is facing now.