ABOUT THE THALASSAEMIA UNIT
Vision :Make a home away from home for adolescent & adult Thalassaemic patients in the country.
Objective :Provide better and qualitative standardized care for thalassaemic patients in the country.
The patients with thalassaemia major have always had a bad deal in Sri Lanka. Most patients do not get adequate amounts of blood transfusions. They have almost never got adequate chelation. Most of them are treated like out casts in their villages and even when they come for medical treatment are not very welcome by the medical staff. The monthly visit to the hospital is treated by the patients and their family like a recurring bad dream.
The hospital staffs indifference stems from the frequent admissions and make them see the patients as pests. The blood transfusions always draw undue attention of other patients, and their curiosity quickly becomes a nuisance to the patients. After all having thalassaemia major is something that the patients do not like to advertise!
Its very well known that treating patients in special care units makes them receive a better standard of care. This is the concept of having "stroke care units" and "coronary care units". This is the very concept that we thought to adopt to the patients with thalassaemia attending the Professorial Medical Unit of the Colombo North Teaching Hospital.
In 2006 February we were able to convert this vision into a reality. The setting up was no easy at all. The obstacles were many. Justification of the creation of a Unit to the administration was no easy task. From finding space to financing every thing was a struggle.
We were lucky to have had the generous contribution for many philanthropists. Our vision was to build a home away from home for patients with thalassaemia. We also wanted to make their hospital stay as short as possible. This was by increasing the efficiency of the medical staff. Our main objective was to function as a day care unit. This would help to minimize cost for the government as well as minimize the disruption to the families affected by thalassaemia.