17th November 2020 12:58:08 Hours
Despite hectic schedules, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army and Head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) made it a point to meet and extend greetings to the 1st group of the 7th Army contingent of the Sri Lanka Army Medical Corps (SLAMC), bound for United Nations Peace-Keeping Mission in South Sudan’s Level-2 Hospital (UNMISS) when they arrived at the Colombo International Airport during the small hours on Tuesday (17).
This first team, comprised of 10 Officers and 22 Other Ranks before their boarding formalities interacted with the Army Chief who wished them best of luck and reminded them of the importance of maintaining the highest level of discipline while serving and their commitment to the role and tasks in South Sudan soon after review of a simple parade, presented by those troopers in honour of their Army Chief. He shared a few thoughts with the troops and inquired into their preparedness and other concerns. A few Senior Officers were also at the airport to receive the Commander of the Army.
This South Sudan, bound 7th contingent is commanded by Colonel Roshan Jayamanna and made up of 4 Medical specialists, 4 Medical Officers and a Dentist, 1 Commanding Officer, 7 Administrative Officers, 41 SLAMC Other Ranks, including Ward In-charge, nurses, critical care nurses (gynaecological), operation theatre technician, Physiotherapy (DPM), radiographer, X-ray technician, SMO/MPH (ECG), dental assistant, dental technician, medical storman, pharmacist, pharmacy technician, lab technician, lab technologists, hygiene assistant, admin clerk, cooks, ambulance drivers, sanitary duty man, mortuary attendant and 9 Other Ranks from the Sri Lanka Signal Corps, Corps of Engineer Service and the Sri Lanka Army Service Corps.
The other team will depart on 9th December 2020 after remaining troops of the 6th contingent arrive home on 8th December 2020. The first batch of returnees of the 6th contingent arrived in the country on Sunday (15). Sri Lanka, now recognized as a Troop Contributing Country (TCC) by the UN has come in for praise for her roles and their contribution to the African continent according to the UN reports.
This South Sudan-based new SRIMED Hospital, equipped with necessary components for secondary care medical services, including an operating theatre, labour room, intensive care unit, emergency department, out-patient department, dental surgery, dental workshop, pharmacy, medical store, radiology department, clinical laboratory, ECG room, the sterilizing department, biomedical engineering section, medical waste disposal section, freezer mortuary, isolation ward and laundry plus wards and an aero-medical evacuation facility with ambulatory resuscitation and ventilation capabilities, is manned by Sri Lankan troops.
In addition, the 5th contingent of 54 airmen of the Sri Lanka Air Force also left for aviation duties in the same UNMISS in South Sudan on the same flight.
Senior officers including Major General Duminda Sirinaga, Deputy Chief of Staff, Major General Pradeep De Silva, Director General General Staff were at the airport to see them off to the UNMISS in South Sudan.