Counselling programme for Tsunami Trincomalee victims

[TamilNet, Monday, 03 January 2005, 14:12 GMT]
Dr.T.Kadambanathan, a leading specialist in psychiatry currently serving in the mental heath division of the Ratnapura government hospital in the south Sunday held a pilot study visiting various refugee camps in Nilaveli, Adambodai and Kinniya in Trincomalee district among Tsunami victims to prepare an integrated psychological counselling programme for immediate implementation on parallel with relief efforts.

Dr.KadambanathanVolunteers of Eastern Human Economic Development (EHED), and Socio-Economic Development Organization (SEDOT) of Trincomalee assisted Dr.Kadambanathan in his study. Earlier he held discussion in this regard with officials of the provincial health ministry, sources said.

Dr.Kadambanathan said counselling groups would be formed comprising locally trained volunteers to assist Tsunami victims to over come the trauma due to the recent disaster. Six month counselling is needed for the victims who are under acute depression, medical sources said.

Dr Kadambanathan in his pilot study identified several victims who lost their loved ones in recent Tsunami suffering disturbed state of mind, intense emotional upsets and other related symptoms. He has asked local volunteers managing camps to prepare lists of persons who are urgently needed psycho-counselling.

Four year old girl Sivaranjini lost her mother in December Tsunami but she was told that her mother had been admitted in hospital. She wanted her father to take her to hospital to see her mother. But the father Sinniah Sivam was in a dilemma. He said, "I saw my wife Wimala being swallowed by Tsunami". He added his daughter Sivaranjini, a very playful girl after her mother's death was weeping, not talking to any one, demanding her mother back.



A woman victim in Nilaveli refugee camp

Farris who lost his twin brother is talking to Dr.Kadambanathan

A group of victims in Kinniya Central College camp

A family displaced from Nilaveli lives a in roadside camp
Latiffa, a resident of Annal Nagar in Kinniya, now an inmate in Kinniya Central College refugee camp said her only eighteen-year-old daughter, Sajitha, deied in Tsunami. She said she saw her being dragged away by Tsunami waves. "I am unable to sleep or eat after the tragedy. I feel highly depressed," she said.

Siththi Kaleema, mother of seven lost four of them in Tsunami. She was in her hut at Thoona, a coastal suburb in Kinniya She was able to save fifteen in her neighbourhood from the deadly waves. But,she cries: "I was unable to save four in my family. She hugged Farris, 8 year old, one of her twin sons escaped in the disaster. Other son Faiz was dead. The problem is Farris cries daily thinking of his dead brother Faiz, she said.

Dr.Kadambanathan held discussion with the officials of the provincial health department and other international organizations such as UNICEF and UNHCR Monday to form groups in each affected area to identify psychologically affected persons and provide counselling, the sources said.

 

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