With the intervention and coordination of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Seoul, the Sri Lankan community and well-wishers in the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the KEB Hana Bank, one of the largest money centre banks, have gifted new 32 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds to Sri Lanka at the height of the COVID pandemic.
These state-of-the-art ICU beds, which were handed over to Ambassador Dr. A. Saj U. Mendis and Head of Chancery Nilanthi Pelawaththage, would be air lifted to Sri Lanka, courtesy of SriLankan Airlines, this week to reach Colombo at the earliest. These ICU beds are valued at over $ 12,000 (Rs. 2.4 million). It may further be noted that the E9-PAY Company Ltd., in the Republic of Korea facilitated the sourcing of the aforementioned ICU beds in close coordination with the Embassy of Sri Lanka. Further, the Embassy has raised funds, primarily from the Sri Lankan community and migrants in the RoK, in excess of Rs. 2 million, which would be used to purchase 50 Oxygen Cylinders with the capacity of 10.2L. These would be air lifted to Colombo at the earliest.
The Embassy successfully negotiated and interceded with the International Interchange Development Association, known as IIDA, headed by Moon Yong-Jo, in order to receive a donation of a Cancer Detection and Prevention Machine and a large quantum of sanitary products such as shampoos, tooth brushes, toothpaste and soaps, amongst others, to the people of Sri Lanka. This initiative was effectuated by the Commercial Division of the Embassy along with Ambassador Dr. Mendis. The listed price of the cancer machine is $ 365,000 and total cost of sanitary products is $ 318,000, thus making the total gift amounting to $ 683,000 or Rs. 135 million respectively. Since this consignment is very large, it would be shipped to Sri Lanka as soon as the IIDA and the Embassy source a competitively priced freight forwarding agent.
This agreement was signed by Dr. Mendis and the Commercial Division of the Embassy with the President of the IIDA to receive the Cancer Detection and Prevention Machine and other sanitary products to be shipped to Sri Lanka.
“The Cancer Detection and Prevention Machine, which is one of the most state-of-the-art machines used in the world, would be of immense usage and utility to patients suffering from cancer and cancer-related sicknesses in Sri Lanka”, added Dr. Mendis during the gifting ceremony. Ambassador Dr. Mendis further stated: “According to the WHO and Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the US, cancer is one of the primary causes of untimely deaths of people in developed and developing countries, including in Sri Lanka. On any given day, approximately 30,000 people in the world die due to cancer, which is far higher than any other cause of death except of heart diseases”.
Some of the deadliest and most difficult cancers to be medically treated are prostate, pancreatic, breast and lung cancer, and in Sri Lanka, Dr. Mendis added, that a substantial number of people die each year due to cancer. IIDA President Moon had visited Sri Lanka in the past with the International Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO), which conducts altruistic and philanthropic functionaries in a number of developing countries around the world. The President of IIDA stated that in due course once the COVID pandemic is over, the IIDA would dispatch a couple of experts and technicians to Sri Lanka to familiarise the operational aspect of the aforementioned Cancer Detection and Prevention Machine.
The Embassy on close coordination with the SL Air Force, intervened and negotiated with the International Fire Safety Association of the RoK, a reputed INGO, which has gifted a Water Tank Vehicle and two Fire Pump Trucks to the Sri Lanka Air Force. The agreement on the gift of fire engines was signed by the Chairperson of International Fire Safety Association and Dr. Mendis and the fire engines were scarcely used and are in very good condition. These highly advanced fire engines would be shipped to Sri Lanka in the immediate future. During the recent past, the aforementioned Association has gifted fire engines and ambulances to a number of countries and the Chair assured to the Embassy and to Dr. Mendis that in the future, the Association would gift more fire engines and ambulances to Sri Lanka.