Japan has provided JPY 500 million worth of modern Japanese medical equipment to Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital to strengthen the hospital capabilities to combat Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and enhance the social and humanitarian development in Sri Lanka, which has been highly affected due to present dire economic conditions.

On August 18, Ambassador Hideaki Mizukoshi signed an Exchange of Note for the grant assistance, the Embassy of Japan in Colombo said in a statement.

Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital was constructed in 1983 with the grant aid from the Japanese government as a token of appreciation and friendship to former President Mr. J. R. Jayewardene for his generous encouragement of Japan’s return to the international community at the San Francisco Peace Conference.

Augmenting the historical relationship, Japan will provide latest equipment such as CT angiography, catheter surgical equipment, transplantation devices, ophthalmology equipment, as well as establishing the new dental ward, to enhance treatment and surgical capabilities for NCDs including cancer, stroke, and diabetes, while reducing the rate of blindness and caries in Sri Lanka.

NCDs patients account for over 80% of all deaths in Sri Lanka and they tend to be at higher risk of severe symptoms and death when infected with COVID-19.

Furthermore, the current economic crisis poses a significant risk of increased NCDs due to deteriorating health and nutritional status to many citizens. “We hope this assistance will improve diagnosis and treatment of NCDs and help reduce related mortality and incidence in Sri Lanka, especially in the Western Province, the embassy said further.

“At this historic milestone of the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic relationships between Japan and Sri Lanka, we believe that Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital will become another landmark to represent the close bilateral relationship.”

The statement read that Japan remain committed to help overcome this economic crisis together as a long-standing development partner of Sri Lanka.