Volunteers assist over 1,000 Sri Lankans through medical outreach programmes
The medical camps take place in and around the Western Province. From rural Remunagoda to urban Colombo, we organise outreach programmes that serve many of the nation’s ethnic and religious communities. Typically, each medical camp takes place following a request from a provincial government office, on behalf of its citizens.
Gishan Perera, director of Projects Abroad Sri Lanka, said: “There are many communities in the Western Province where men and women go without regular doctor’s visits. Collaborating with the local government, we are able to identify villages and neighbourhoods that are most in need… In some instances, locals may fear visiting a doctor. In others, the cost of transportation to public hospitals is prohibitive. Projects Abroad visits such communities directly, to fill in these gaps.”
Volunteer Coordinator Kaitlin McWhorter added that “medical camps generally take place in makeshift spaces, from community centres to Buddhist temples. By asking our volunteers to set up in these spaces, they are able to take ownership of the outreach programmes and the services offered.”
Medical camps are often crowded, as it is difficult to know the precise number of patients who will attend. Word usually travels fast in the local villages, and turnout is always high. The medical camps therefore also provide the volunteers with valuable experience in patient and stress management.
Spanish volunteer Aina Tersol Montserrat said: “Medical camps are a chance to address medical issues endemic to Sri Lanka, like high blood sugar. I have learnt a lot through assisting doctors in diagnosing these health conditions, but even more from the sheer number of patients that we see. These outreach programmes, which are supplementary to our regular volunteer placement, allow us to have a meaningful influence through personal patient care on a massive scale.”
With a large reserve of medical supplies, Projects Abroad Sri Lanka is able to provide medication to those who attend the camps, as per the doctor’s prescription. As an independent organisation, Projects Abroad is able to set up medical camps on short notice, providing community support where it is urgently needed and enabling volunteers to act as a vital link in the pursuit of global health and development.
Read more about Medicine and Healthcare in Sri Lanka.