The Government of Japan provided a grant of US$ 36,759 (approx. Rs. 7.2 million) through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) for the provision of “Reconditioned Ambulances for the Moolai Co-operative Hospital”.
The grant contract was signed on 24th March 2021 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo, between Ambassador of Japan – Mr. Sugiyama Akira, and Mr. M. Gnaneswaran – President of the Co-operative Hospital Society Ltd, Moolai.
The Moolai Co-operative hospital was established in 1936 as the first hospital in South-east Asia managed by a Co-operative Society. The hospital since then, has been meeting various medical needs of patients primarily from the Western part of the Jaffna district, serving a population of approximately 200,000 people in total.
Though some of the facilities damaged by the civil war have been restored, a large portion of these ancillary services remained unattended. As such, meeting the medical needs of this community have proven to be a massive task. In fact, there was one old ambulance in service, donated by a hospital in 2007, thus, carrying out emergency services and mobile clinics efficiently had been a huge challenge.
This project, which donates two reconditioned ambulances from Japan, is expected to improve emergency and mobile clinic services significantly.
Upon receiving the grant, Mr. Gnaneswaran stated:
“At the outset, as the President of the Co-operative Hospital Society Ltd., Moolai, I wholeheartedly thank the Embassy of Japan for coming forward to give these two vehicles considering our urgent need. It has been our priority to replace the old ambulance which is in need of constant repair on a monthly basis. The associated exorbitant cost to finance the repairs was a huge strain on our financial sustainability. Nevertheless, the two reconditioned ambulances will now be used for emergency services to transport critical patients from the Moolai Hospital to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital or nearby better equipped hospitals in a short span of time. Moreover, we hope to resume home visits and mobile medical clinics which will benefit the villagers residing in remote areas with limited access to medical services. Once again, we are profusely grateful to the Government of Japan for this donation in kind to help uplift the quality of health services for the people in the district of Jaffna.”