The Sri Lankan army has confirmed that it will send 61 army personnel including 11 officers to assist the UN mission of South Sudan (UNMISS) in supporting their new hospitals.
The deployment of Sri Lankan troops to assist with the medical project on behalf of the UN has raised concerns given the problematic record of the Sri Lankan military abroad. The UN had previously accused 134 Sri Lankan soldiers of sexually abusing and exploiting 9 Haitian boys and girls from late 2004 to mid-2007. The report read that:
“The acts of sexual exploitation and abuse were frequent, occurred usually at night, and at virtually every location where Sri Lankan military were deployed,”
Despite these concerns, the project has been praised by Lieutenant Colonel Rohan Fernando, who leads the mission, as “one of the fastest and well-planned projects ever seen in Mission Director’s entire UN career”.
Adaderana reports that South Sudan has been able to establish its first SRIMED (Sri Lanka Medical) hospital in the region. They further report that the hospital is fully equipped with:
“necessary components for secondary care medical services, including an operating theatre, labour room, intensive care unit, emergency department, out-patient department, dental surgery, dental workshop, pharmacy, medical store, radiology department, clinical laboratory, ECG room, sterilizing department, biomedical engineering section, medical waste disposal section, freezer mortuary, isolation ward and laundry plus wards, also enjoys an aero-medical evacuation facility with ambulatory resuscitation and ventilation capabilities”.
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