The district of Hambantota which consists of four provinces. The tsunami death toll in this area was about 20,000 people. About 10,000 people were injured, many of them badly. Local hospitals are unable to meet the needs of the people, tsunami-affected or otherwise, since there are more than 1,000 people to be taken care of daily and most of the hospitals cannot handle more than 200; there are still very basic medical needs that are not covered. Our focus is on helping several villages along the southern coast of Sri Lanka, about 1,000 families, 100 of which are living in a camp, since there is nothing left of their houses.
Since the immediate disaster relief needs have been taken care of, the challenge now is to cover the basic needs of the people we are committed to help. For the medical part, the ministry of fishery allowed us to use a small two-room house that was flooded by the tsunami but was basically not destroyed, as a clinic.
Our goal is to establish a new database for the families and to get an overview regarding their basic medical condition and health needs. We want to make sure that everybody will have a medical record with basic check-up information, vitals and vaccination schedules for the children; we are coordinating our efforts with the closest hospital in Tangalle, which was in desperate need even before the tsunami. Within the last month alone, 15 patients have died from simple things like blood loss from a broken leg because medical supplies and staff are simply not available. Nick Buckingham from Great Britain has started to raise money for the hospital and is very hands-on himself; fixing the rooms, painting, buying mattresses, preparing for an operating room and soforth. Real Medicine plans to coordinate with Nick in widening the network for medical support and supplies from the US and Europe.