NCDA Lanka

Young leaders mobilise during lockdown in Sri Lanka to deliver life-saving treatment

22nd April 2020

The COVID19 pandemic has not spared Sri Lanka and the government imposed a curfew for the entire territory on 20 March 2020. After a week, health facilities experienced a shortage in the supply of essential medicines and NCD Alliance Lanka mobilised their network to assess the needs and ensure people living with Type 1 diabetes in the country continue to access their life-saving treatment.

The National Diabetes Centre Rajagiriya (headquarter of the Diabetes Association of Sri Lanka and NCD Alliance Lanka) has a registry of over 350 people living with Type 1 diabetes who are given free access to their medication and testing equipment by government hospitals. Unfortunately, a week after the lockdown came into force, hospitals providing free supplies suffered a shortage of essential medicines and these people living with NCDs have been put at risk.

Therefore, the NCD Alliance Lanka has been contacting every person in their registry individually to assess their stock of insulin. After this situation assessment phase, Young Leaders in Diabetes assisted NCD Alliance Lanka in the preparation of individual kits containing insulin doses and test strips for each person in need. For the delivery of these supplies to all districts on the island, the National Diabetes Centre had to obtain a special authorization from the Ministry of Health.

After 4 days and more than 2,000 km to traverse, more than 100 people living with Type 1 diabetes and confined in their homes were able to receive their life-saving treatment.

This enormous coordination and planning effort was made possible through the tireless work of Dhanuka Dilshan and Dinuka Jude, who are both IDF Young Leaders, and the continuous support of Life for a Child programme for their professional guidance and donation of insulin and test strips.

NCD Alliance Lanka said: "We are truly proud of our unsung heroes for their empathy and compassion for making operation #SavealifeCovid-19SL a resounding success."