Last week doctors, medical staff and patients gathered at the Teaching Hospital in Kurunegala to celebrate the first anniversary of the setting up of a special rehabilitation project for heart patients. The purpose of the project was to educate heart patients on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following up on medical procedures after surgery. There is only one such heart patient unit outside Kurunegala, and that is in a hospital in Colombo.
|Dr. Thilak Sirisena
||Dr. Ajith Kularathne
The Kurunegala Hospital heart patient rehabilitation unit was the initiative of Dr. Thilak Sirisena, who is now attached to the Anuradhapura Hospital. Assisting him in the project was Dr. Ms. S. D. Rajamanthri, the present director of the Kurunegala Hospital. The unit is being maintained by heart specialist Dr. Ajith Kularathne.
Among the facilities available in the unit is a machine to ensure patients undergoing surgery do not lose their physical strength during an operation. For three weeks after an operation, patients are instructed on how to continue treatment and avoid repeat attacks. Staff members of the hospital’s physiotherapy unit also assist, helping patients with physical exercise and advice. Patients receive a certificate on completing the training.
Speaking at the anniversary get-together, Dr. S. D. Rajamanthri said the unit was committed to helping patients return to good health through advisory services. Initially, when the unit was opened, there were problems, such as a lack of equipment and trained staff, but these difficulties were soon overcome. Dr. Rajamanthri also thanked the Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thera for his support.
Specialist Dr. Ajith Kularathne underlined the success of the heart patient unit. He said the number seeking treatment every year was on the increase. “Our aim is to bring down the mortality rate of heart patients,” he said, adding that most heart ailments were the result of negligence or ignorance on the part of the patients.
Heart patients attending the event had generous praise for the unit, and thanked the medical staff for their services and dedication.
Doctors S. Rajanathan, Ananda Gunasekera and S. Godamunne received special mention, and thanks were extended to all the medical staff, past and present.