Being an island surrounded by Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has a population of 20 million. Muslims make up seven percent of the population of the country where 23 percent of the population live on the hunger threshold.
Carrying out various relief efforts in the country, the IHH has inaugurated three healthcare centers and an education center for mentally-challenged children in different parts of Sri Lanka.
Travelling to the country for the inauguration ceremonies, an IHH team first opened the education center for the mentally-handicapped children in Hemmathagama, which was constructed with the donations from charity givers in İzmit. Serendib Foundation which has been carrying out relief work for mentally-disabled people in the region is trying to make some statistics on these people in the country.
The statistics of the Hemmathagama region have already been made. When Muslims in the poverty-stricken region have difficulty in providing normal education to their children, it seems impossible for them to provide education for their mentally-handicapped children. The education center opened by the IHH will initially provide education to 25 children. There is a problem of finding teachers for mentally-handicapped children in the region. The IHH’s education center will have three teachers.
Following the ceremony in Hemmathagama, IHH team moved to Mutur town in Trincomalee province where they inaugurated the Martyr Necdet Yıldırım Healthcare Center. There is only one hospital in the predominantly Muslim town which has a population of 40,000. The newly-opened healthcare center has an examination room, vaccination room, pharmacy and waiting hall. The second healthcare center, named Martyr Cevdet Kılıçlar Healthcare Center, was opened in Kiribewa village in Anuradhapura province. There is not any other healthcare center in the region.
The third healthcare center was opened in Puttalam province. There is only one hospital in the province, which has a population of 55,000. This healthcare center was named after IHH Asia Coordinator Faruk Aktaş who pioneered many relief efforts in the region and lost his life in a plane crash in 2010. One thousand copies of Muslim holy book of Quran were delivered to the locals after the inauguration ceremony.
The healthcare centers will provide free examinations and medicine to the people in need. In addition, volunteer doctors will serve at these healthcare centers.
Diabetes problem in Sri Lanka
Representatives from the International Association of Physicians who were in the aid team which went to the region noted that diabetes is a serious problem in the region. Muslim diabetes patients make up 25 percent of the all the diabetes patients in the country. In consideration of the high percentage of diabetes patients in the country, IHH plans to take action to address the problem of diabetes in Sri Lanka.