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"Medical Institute For Tamils" (MIFT) is an officially registered non-profit cooperation representing Tamil speaking medical and dental professionals in North America. 

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   Completed Second Medical Mission to Sri Lanka   

Second Medical Mission to Northern Sri Lanka
March 1-10, 2004
Volunteered Members: Dr. K. Gnanendran FFARCS FRCPC – Anesthesiologist
Dr. V. Santhakumar MBBS CCFP – Family Physician
Dr. R. Mohan BDS – Dental Surgeon
Dr. V. Wignakumar FICS FRCS – General Surgeon

Our first mission was well received and benefited many in the Northern Sri Lanka. To continue this outreach mission and to fulfill MIFT’s commitment to the local health authorities our second team reached Colombo on March 1st and departed straight to Kilinochchi. We reached Kilinochchi in the evening and spent the first day there.

Related Information
Second Medical Mission Photos
Memorandam from Mission Coordinator
  • First Mission
  • We met with the team of Government & Private hospital doctors there. We received feedback from them regarding their needs. Also we visited the Government hospital and the Ponnambalam memorial hospital. We helped them with one of their emergency through the night. We got a chance to teach the AMP students in Kilinochchi. We were really impressed with their hands on clinical experience/ practical knowledge. They showed great enthusiasm in learning from the Canadian medical team. We also met Dr. Jeyarajah a W.H.O representative doctor who was carrying on a wonderful work there with his wife. He gave us hands on advice regarding the needs there.

    We moved on to Puthukudiyiruppu the following day and continued our mission there. Dr. Sivabalan organized everything for us on a short notice – without his help our mission would not have achieved many of our goals.

    Dr. Mohan started work with the help of the dental assistants. He utilized the equipments/materials taken from Canada to aid his work. The number of patients he treated in a few days is a very good indication for the dental needs there.

    Dr. Wignakumar and Dr. Gnanendran started their work in the O.R. Dr. Santhakumar assisted them in screening patients pre operatively.

    Our major objective in this mission was to set up the four anesthetic machines. These machines were obtained from Toronto hospitals by Dr. Gnanendran and transported with the help of TRO to Puthukudiyiruppu. Dr.Gnanendran quickly set up these equipments in hospitals in the area including the Kilinochchi government hospital. He had an enthusiastic team of assistants who were so excited to see these equipments and couldn’t get to sleep until they put these machines in action. With the new machines in action, number of patients were successfully operated by Dr. Wignakumar and Dr. Sivabalan. Dr.Gnanendran provided the anesthesia.

    Dr. Santhakumar assisted in the OPD. He emptied the two large bags of sample medications taken from Canada in three days. Needy people came from all over the area hearing the radio and newspaper announcement regarding the presence of the Canadian medical team for the second time.

    While doing our work we were taken out by the medical group in the evening to visit places like Myuri Illam etc & the war torn communities in the area. This gave us a bit of a break from our routine.

    Dr. Gnanedran then departed directly to Colombo and to Canada to return work here. Dr. Mohan, Dr.Wignakumar, and Dr. Santhakumar moved on to Jaffna. There we went directly to the Jaffna Medical faculty and met the Dean and the teachers. It was a great welcome for us as they were celebrating their silver jubilee with a grand medical exhibition. It was a great honor for me and Dr. Wignakumar since we both hailed from this faculty in the early days. We also met with the MSU (Medical Students Union) and discussed their needs. Following day we visited the Jaffna teaching hospital and met our colleagues to explore the situation there. We also passed on samples of psychiatric medication to the psychiatric department in Jaffna.

    Our team also carried with us many other things like optometry charts, glasses and frames donated by Dr.Karunanithy. These were handed over to the eye care team there. Many other types of equipment like diagnostic sets, purchased medications from Colombo, teaching aids for the BCLS course, a mannequin, anesthetic masks, E.T. tubes, Gloves were donated to the needy medical people.

    During our meeting with the local health care team in Puthukudiyiruppu Dr. Sivabalan made a request for a lab auto analyzer and a microscope to be purchased in aid of Puthukudiyiruppu hospital. The group felt these were essential items in need in that hospital. So we agreed to pay the cost of $8000.00 towards the purchase of these equipments on behalf of MIFT from the medical relief fund. Also our team members contributed to Dr. Sivabalan’s fund for purchase of a video projector for teaching purposes.

    With a sense of fulfillment we returned to Colombo. The only regret we had was the limited time we had to achieve our goals. Unfortunately this is the situation for most of us working in North America. Dr. Mohan and I met with the Canadian high commissioner Ms. Valerie Raymond on our way to the airport and updated her regarding our mission. We also advised her regarding the medical needs in the areas visited.

    We thank all the MIFT members who supported us and helped us with your pledge, medication samples etc. Without your support this mission would not have been possible.

    Respectively Submitted
    Dr. V. Santhakumar
    2nd Mission coordinator


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