Focus on journalists. Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. first private media beneficiary in the programme
The Health Education Bureau (HEB) in collaboration with the Colombo National Hospital (CNH) conducted a two-day Free Health Camp (FHC) under its Social Responsibility Programme (SRP) for the employees of the Wijeya Newspapers Ltd (WNL) last Monday and Tuesday at its Hunupitiya Cross Road premises.
Nearly 900 WNL employees were tested, diagnosed and medical advice was given by doctors, medical specialists, eye specialists and physiotherapists to pre-empt diseases. Those needing medical attention were referred to clinics at the CNH and the Colombo Eye Hospital.
Director General, Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala at the inauguration of the free health camp said the HEB on the instructions of the Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena launched the Social Responsibility Programme to attend to the needs of specialised professionals who ran short of time to attend to their own health requirements.
“We aim to fulfil two objectives by conducting FHC for WNL employees with main focus placed on journalists. The FHC will not only help journalists to pay attention to their health and seek medical attention if and when necessary, but they will also take the message of the importance of maintaining good health to the masses.
Dr. Mahipala paid tribute to journalists at the WNL for their unstinted support in safeguarding free health in the country and controlling and preventing diseases. He added that the FHC, which was a concept of Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, will be a regular feature of the Health Ministry that expects to conduct them at other state and private institutions where busy professionals work. The HEB has already conducted FHCs at Lake House and the Rupavahini Corporation. The WNL was the first private sector media institute at which the HEB preferred to conduct an FHC.
Director CNH Dr. Anil Jayasinghe said the FHC constituted an expression of gratitude to journalists and the WNL for their service to the health sector. “Busy professionals like journalists do not pay much attention to their personal health due to their busy work schedules. But they must realise that it is important to attend to basic requirements to keep their health at a satisfactory level. Drinking enough water and ensuring a minimum half-hour period of exercise every day, eating fruits and low- fat food with fibre and being a non-smoker will keep many a disease at bay.”
Director WNL Lal Jayawardana thanked the Health Ministry, the HEB and the CNH for their exemplary and benevolent gesture in assisting WNL employees to lead a disease-free life.
Dr. Uthpala Amarasinghe of the HEB who organised the FHC at WNL said the Free Health Camp tested employees mainly for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) such as Coronary Heart Diseases (CHD) renal problems, diabetes, arthritis, ENT impairments, vision impairment, oral, cervical and lung cancer etc.
“We came to the WNL with a highly qualified cadre of doctors, eye surgeons, physiotherapists and medical staff with necessary medical equipment. We tested employees for early signs of disease, and those diagnosed positive were referred the respective clinics at the CNH and the Eye Hospital for treatment,” Dr. Amarasinghe said.
The plus factor of the NCD test is that if diagnosed early NCDs such as CHD, strokes, diabetes, renal failure are curable. The problem is that people in Sri Lanka come to hospital or seek medical advice only after they have fallen ill. Therefore, the FHC conducted here will do a load of good to the employees of the WNL.
She went on to say that several WNL employees who were diagnosed as being in the early stages of heart diseases, renal ailments, diabetes etc were referred to the cardiology unit and the ENT clinics, renal therapy, skin and diabetes centres.
Dr. Amarasinghe added that about 50 doctors and 100 supporting staff from the HEB, NHC and the Colombo Eye Hospital attended and participated at the two-day FHC at the WNL. -SAJ
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