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Indian medical team in Lanka

world Updated: Mar 06, 2009 19:36 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

A team of doctors from India is reaching Sri Lanka on Monday to provide medical care to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have moved out of LTTE-controlled area to government-run camps.

There more than 36000 displaced Tamil civilians living in 17 camps set up by the government in central, north and east Sri Lanka. According to the government, a trickle of refuges are almost daily slipping out of rebel territory and attempting to make their way to the camps.

"As agreed between the government of Sri Lanka and government of India, an Indian medical team will arrive in Colombo Monday. The medical team will comprise eight experienced physicians and surgeons as well as paramedical staff and technical staff," the Indian high commission said here Friday in a statement.

It was learnt that some of the doctors were from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

The High Commission said the team will set up an emergency medical unit, including a hospital at Pulmodai in the eastern district of Trincomalee.

Saying they would provide humanitarian relief and emergency medical care to internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the north, the statement said the team will also carry all necessary medical equipment and medicines required by the emergency medical unit.

"In addition, a consignment of urgently needed medicines and other supplies worth approximately Sri Lankan Rs.70 million will also be brought by the team and handed over to the health ministry,’’ the statement said.

In October, India dispatched around 80000 family packs containing clothes and hygiene essentials for the IDPs. It was distributed through the network of the International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC).

Other then that, relief material collected in Tamil Nadu has also been distributed among the displaced.

Foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, who was recently in Colombo, had said that India’s priority is to help the Lankan government to tackle the unfolding humanitarian crisis in and around the battle zone.

Meanwhile, the military has said the LTTE is now cornered into an area less than 55 square km.