25th February 2019 21:01:56 Hours
Presidential Task Force for Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKDs) - initiated and the Army-erected 7-storied state-of-the-art ‘Dr Thilak Abeysekera Kidney Treatment & Concessionary Centre’ in the Kandy Teaching Hospital premises was vested in CKD patients on Monday (25) during a mammoth ceremony, presided by HE the President, Maithripala Sirisena, the pioneering architect of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) for CKDs.
The phenomenal construction undertaken by more than 200 plus Army engineering and technicians of the 17 CES Unit on the directions of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Director Engineer Services and supportive Navy troops began the project on 1 October 2016 in earnest to be in line with guidelines given by the PTF, medical and consulting staff, engaged in the project.
Today’s opening ceremony of the project saw HE the President unveil a plaque in the company of Dr Thilak Abeysekara, Consultant Nephrologist and Head of the Department of Nephrology & Transplantation at the Kandy Teaching Hospital who spearheaded the construction in close coordination with HE the President and vest it in the general public in the presence of a gathering of Buddhist monks, clergy, Ministers, Secretaries, Chief Ministers, State Officials, Chief of Defence Staff, Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders and a large crowd of invitees and CKD - affected patients, taking treatment from the Kandy Teaching Hospital.
Funds, majority of which flowed from donors and philanthropists for this worthy construction of this mammoth service centre to the value of Rs 628 million were channelled through the PTF and the Army troops, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel J.K.S Rangika, Commanding Officer, 17 CES, Lieutenant Colonel N.M.J Perera, Captain W.L Chaminda, Captain M.N.C Attanayake, Lieutenant Suraweera and energetic Other Rankers day and night worked tirelessly to bring it to completion to meet with the deadline.
In his opening remarks to the inaugural ceremony, Dr Saman Ratnayake, Director at Kandy Teaching Hospital paid a glowing tribute to the exemplary dedication, commitment and high standards of discipline among Army workforce who particularly were compelled to work in a crowded milieu in the hospital premises throughout the day. Giving due appreciation to those Officers who worked by specific names, he declared the Army as well as the Navy performed their professional duties to the dot, like a group of little children but with the utmost standards of discipline.
“This project could not have been done without the blessings of the Commander of the Army meeting with deadlines. Army troops when I used to visit locations every evening were fully engaged in the construction using their technical know-how, an example that could be carried forward,” Dr Ratnayake remarked.
President in his speech elaborated how the entire Kandy project reached a start, identical to the CKD project still underway in Anuradhapura with active pioneering efforts of Dr Abeysekera and how funds were set apart for its completion. He also spoke high of the tri-service commitment for success of the project and pointed out how a decrease in CKD ratio has been now reported in the past two years after the Navy took initiative in distributing more than 670 water purifying osmosis units across vulnerable areas. President Sirisena also appreciated the services of tri-service Officers as well as other stakeholders at the same ceremony by awarding special mementos of recognition.
Later on, the CDS, Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders were invited on stage to join distribution of a large stock of water purification units, blood pressure measuring meters and other medical equipment and accessories among most needed sections of the public in the district.