Newborn baby dies, 31 patients suffer as SLA refuses ambulances to reach Vavuniyaa

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 November 2008, 19:54 GMT]
A baby born at Mullaiththeevu hospital, in need of urgent treatment at Vavuniyaa hospital, pathetically died on Tuesday as medical authorities were not allowed by the Sri Lankan forces Vanni headquarters to allow ambulances to reach Oamanthai exit point since Tuesday morning, according to medical authorities in Vanni. Four ambulances carrying 14 patients from Mullaiththeevu hospital and 17 patients from Ki'linochchi Tharmapuram hospital waited for hours in front of the ICRC office in Puthukkudiyiruppu, but were forced to return to their hospitals with seriously ill patients.

Two ambulances from Tharmapuram hospital carrying 17 patients waited at the ICRC office in Puthukkudiyiruppu from 10:00 a.m. till 3:40 p.m. Tuesday and returned to Tharmapuram hospital. Seven of the 17 patients were in serious state.

14 patients, taken into two ambulances from Mullaiththeevu hospital, waited at ICRC office for clearance from 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday and returned back to the hospital.

The Medical Superintendent of Mullaiththeevu hospital Dr. V. Shanmugarajah described the death of the newborn baby which needed urgent medical treatment, as pathetic. The baby would have survived had the ambulance been allowed to reach Vavuniyaa hospital within a reasonable period of time.

On Wednesday, both the hospitals sent the ambulances again with patients to the ICRC office in Puthukkudiyiruppu, hoping to secure transport to Vavuniyaa hospital. However, according the latest update obtained from Puthukkudiyiruppu at 10:10 a.m., the ICRC was still waiting for a favourable response from the SLA Vanni HQ.

The lack of fuel by the restricted supplies by the Sri Lanka Army has also forced the hospitals to transport patients in bulk, medical authorities said.

In the meantime, hundreds of outpatients who are dependent on medical treatment at Vavuniyaa hospital returned home after waiting at the bus stands in Mullaiththeevu and Ki'linochchi districts.



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