One of the pioneering medical establishments in liver transplantation in the country, the North Colombo University Liver Transplantation Service (NCULTS) received a new ward complex constructed at a cost of Rs.35 million which will be a boost to liver transplantation in Sri Lanka.
Prof. Janaka de Silva, the head of the medical team at the facility addressing the opening ceremony said Sri Lanka was now classified as a middle income country and medical science should now move forward beyond its great public health achievements.
“We are determined to make Ragama a centre of excellence for liver diseases for the benefit of all Sri Lankans. The idea that we should start a liver transplantation programme in Ragama was discussed in 1998 between me and Prof. Kemal Deen on a plane en-route to the UK for the 60th Anniversary meeting of the British Society of Gastroenterology. Kemal and I were wearing the ties we got at that meeting to remember that occasion. I had just been appointed Dean of the Faculty and Kemal was Head of Surgery. We were discussing ways in which to develop Ragama as a centre of excellence in the country," Prof. de Silva said.
There are more than 50 patients on the waiting list for liver transplantation. Many are dying for want of timely intervention. More equipment and infrastructure in the way of operating theatres and medical, ethical and administrative mechanisms are required to optimise organ donation, both cadaveric, living-donor and awareness programmes for healthcare personnel and the public. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)