(From left) Sunshine Healthcare Lanka (SHL) Senior Area Sales Manager – Joseph Santhirakasan, SHL Brand Manager – Shaza Wickramararathne, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the CMC – Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni, SHL Managing Director – Shyam Sathasivam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) of the CMC – Dr. Geethika Rathnawardene, Chief Public Health Inspector (PHI) of the CMC – Kandula Wickramasinghe, SHL Operations Manager Pathma Warnakula and SHL Warehouse Manager – Dulanka Vithana, at the free diabetes screening jointly conducted by SHL and the CMC at Stacepura
Diabetes screening in progress
Recognizing that diabetes is a fast-growing and serious medical threat to the nation’s health, Sunshine Healthcare Lanka Ltd. (SHL) partnered the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to conduct free diabetes screening for people from low-income backgrounds, as part of SHL’s long-standing ‘Seeni Maru’ community initiative to combat, prevent and raise awareness of diabetes.
Around 170 individuals were present for free diabetes screening at the first such programme held in Stacepura to coincide with the World Diabetes Day (which fell on 14th November). Many individuals with diabetes and pre-diabetes symptoms were identified through screening and offered guidance on the necessary future course of action. In addition to screening, in a bid to raise awareness among the people of the area of the serious threat posed by diabetes, posters, badges, leaflets etc. were distributed by Sunshine Healthcare and CMC officials.
The joint screening programme was initiated by SHL and the CMC particularly in response to distressing statistics which indicate that diabetes prevalence and deaths due to diabetes appear to be sharply on the rise in Sri Lanka and the condition is especially a concern among those from low-income backgrounds who lack the knowledge and the necessary resources to effectively combat and prevent diabetes. According to the Diabetes Association of Sri Lanka, 4.3 million Sri Lankans – approximately one fifth of the country’s citizens – suffer from diabetes and prediabetes. Diabetes and heart disease account for as much 30% of overall deaths in the country and claim the lives of 100 Sri Lankans each day.
“Sunshine Healthcare, a private sector company, coming forward to support free diabetes screening for people who lack the necessary resources to do so themselves is indeed commendable,” Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Dr. Ruwan Wijayamuni said. “The CMC is committed to improving the health of the residents of Colombo and appreciate efforts of the private sector in this regard – especially in the case of a fast-growing medical threat such as diabetes.”
“Sunshine Healthcare is pleased to partner the CMC in extending our ‘Seeni Maru’ community initiative against diabetes to the people who need support most in this regard,” Sunshine Healthcare Lanka Managing Director, Shyam Sathasivam said. “We appreciate the enthusiastic assistance of the CMC and look forward to possible future partnerships as well. Such assistance provides further impetus and motivation to expand our ‘Seeni Maru’ initiative, which has already recorded substantial achievements.”
Besides conducting the screening programme, Sunshine Healthcare Lanka launched a series of activities in November as in the previous years, to raise awareness of diabetes. Posters, badges, pennants etc. on diabetes are being prominently displayed throughout the month at Sunshine Healthcare offices, outlets of Healthguard (which is part of Sunshine Healthcare) and other entities of Sunshine Holdings of which Sunshine Healthcare is a group company.
Sunshine Healthcare Lanka (SHL), a fully owned subsidiary of Sunshine Holdings PLC, has been involved in the healthcare business since 1967 – for nearly half a century – after commencing operations as a retail pharmacy. Today Sunshine Healthcare markets over 650 pharmaceuticals, wellness brands, medical diagnostic equipment and surgical products to all pharmacies and hospitals island wide and accounts for a significant share of the country’s private healthcare sector.