Christie Weeratunge, who is resident in London, needed medical attention recently during a short visit to Sri Lanka. For a proper diagnosis he was advised by a medical specialist in Colombo to obtain a scanning report. But to his amazement he discovered that Magnetic Resonance Imaging ( MRI) system was not available in any of the Government hospitals in Sri Lanka, including that of the Colombo General Hospital. In his particular case he was all aright because he found that there were two MRI scanners (for the whole of Sri Lanka) in two private hospitals in Colombo.
Although Christie could manage a scan done, with the power of his Sterling Pound he had taken to Sri Lanka, at a private hospital he was extremely distressed to think that except a minute percentage of the affluent society in Sri Lanka the vast majority of the Lankan society could not afford to pay Rs.7500 to Rs.15, 000 just for a scanning done,
MRI technique enables scanning without the usual hazards of radiation, while the patient is placed at comfortable positions. This non-invasive technique of diagnosing disease at very early stages is considered as both beneficial and a safer option in comparison with other available invasive techniques which can be harmful with side effects to the patient. A very good feature of the MRI technique is that doctors will be able to treat the patient almost immediately to eradicate a disease before it advances to a chronic stage.
Concerned with the poor and the suffering in his motherland Christie was determined to do something for his fellow countrymen. He next spent a considerable amount of his valuable but restricted holiday time in Colombo doing homework to find a solution to this problem. He finally contacted Dr. Colvin Samarasinghe, The Senior Neurosurgeon MBBS (Ceylon), FRCS ( Eng) FRCS(Edin) FACS, FCS (SL) at the Colombo General Hospital, to see how best this problem could be addressed to the vast amount of Sri Lankan expatriates who are now living outside Sri Lanka and enjoying advanced medical services. He believed that Sri Lankan expatriates who are fortunate to enjoy better medical facilities and life outside Sri Lanka would be quite willing to help to fund a worthy cause to acquire this much needed medical equipment for use in 'our General Hospital' as we all believe health as supreme wealth to all human beings.
It was very encouraging for Christie Weeratunge to learn that Dr.Samarasinghe, being a dedicated medical man who is determined to work for in alleviating the pain of the poor, the sick and suffering, had already taken the initiative and set up a Neurosurgery Trust Fund for this purpose.
The cost of the Scanner is estimated at Rs. 50,000,000 (£500,000) to install a MRI scanning unit at the Colombo General Hospital, which will enable the hospital to make MRI scanning facilities free of charge to everyone. Christie Weeratunge, on behalf of Dr. Samarasinghe at the Colombo General Hospital, is now appealing to all Sri Lankan expatriate brothers and sisters, who care for the well being of our own people at home, to make a contribution towards this worthy cause because he says ' you will never know that it would be your own nearest and dearest in Sri Lanka, who could be benefiting out of your kind thought and deed. His appeal is due to appear in all the Sri Lankan weekly and monthly tabloids published in London.
All contributions could be channelled direct to the Neurosurgery Trust Fund in Colombo at the following adddress:
Neurosurgery Trust Fund Hatton National Bank 481 T.B. Jayah Mawatha, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka Account No. 01 064 930 15 Mr.Christie Weeratunge, could be contacted at 224 Croyland Road, Edmonton,London N9 7BD . Tel: 0181-803-0793