Passport Travels update on
our Sri Lanka assistance project.
Please keep up to date with what we are doing and if you are able to help
please email at the contact below.
Saturday evening 05 February a medical team of 14 persons departed Melbourne
airport bound for follow up work in Sri Lanka. The team comprised
Orthopaedic surgeons, an Anaesthetist, surgical assistants, a nurse, two
Physiatrists, GP's and a logistics assistant. $500,000 worth of general
medical equipment had been shipped a few weeks prior. In addition, $250,000
worth of technical orthopaedic, equipment required for immediate work, was
carried as checked extra baggage. Regretfully, although the nation of Sri
Lanka has an emergency situation it is still difficult to get emergency
supplies out quickly from freight customs. Therefore, equipment required to
be used on DAY 1 has to be with the team as personal baggage. Our thanks
again to Singapore Airlines who arranged a waiver of weight restrictions for
the checked baggage.
This team is due back 13 February, with the next group due to go in the
middle of March.
To date this team is entirely self funded and self organised both here in
Australia and on the ground in Sri Lanka. There are many 'working hands' amongst this
team. Unseen family and friends in Sri Lanka who arrange internal logistics.
Hospitals and suppliers in Australia who donate supplies and equipment. All
participants have taken time out from their own very busy practices and
surgery commitments to make this week of action happen.
Full trolley's of
David Young Dr Gary Zimmerman (orthopaedic surgeons) and
junior check in assistant Miss 'P' for perky Mia Zimmerman
Dr Quintus DeZylva group organiser
Suren Jayaweera (surgical assistant), his brother who did the taxi
run and Jason Thomas - logistics man and organiser of initial pre
shipment of medical supplies.
Dr Young and Dr
Skantha Vallipuram (anaesthetist).
Sensible gifts for cricket mad Sri Lanka!
Dr Greg Hoy (orthopaedic surgeon) and Evie from Singapore Airlines.
The team at departure 05/02/2005
Another team has just returned from a
weeks work. Hopefully we will have one of the members post an update. this
group carried some sports equipmet donated by schools in country Victoria.
Our web site has also linked up a group of Doctors from the U.S. who have
also made a journey themselves to assist in hospitals as well as organising
Our current Sri Lanka group departed on 01/01 with extra baggage to support
the first team of doctors.
second team of three doctors departs today 05/01 carrying 60kg each of
supplies. SQ have assisted with this team - our thanks. We, as part of the
support TEAM, have assisted with these logistics and arranged their personal
travel equipment - water filtration and purification, waders etc. Lions Club
Sri Lanka have organised a van and driver for when they arrive.
sure all of you would by now have donated, or assisted in some way. If
anyone is looking for additional ways to assist then an introduction to the
Melbourne based Lions Club (assisting the Sri Lankan community with
this project) can be made.
immediate problems are immense as are the longer term problems. I would like
to take the opportunity to seed some thoughts for longer term actions. I am
personally involved with 'Engineers Without Borders' and am currently
working on a long term project in East Africa.
group is NOT an emergency response organisation, but involved with longer
term sustainable projects in impoverished areas. With what has happened in
the Indian Ocean region the group is now examining what it can do within the
regions affected. These projects require funding. The practical
'engineering' side comes from existing specialists who donate their time to
perform required on site work. The group would always want to hear from
suitably qualified persons who could work in the field. In addition, these
projects have to be funded - not all services/supplies can be obtained on an
visitors feel they would like to be involved in such a project (related to
the affected areas) then I can supply introductions to the people within the
organisation involved with coordinating funding for projects.
In addition to financial contributions
to major aid programmes, we have in the past worked with direct action
solutions. We are actively involved in one such project...
group of Doctors left Melbourne 0600 30/12 bound for Sri Lanka taking their
medical, language and cultural skills with them - Sri Lankan born doctors,
as well as non Sri Lankan origin.
They gathered what supplies they had within their practices. Upon return a
second group will replace them. Their story was mentioned in the Age
(Melbourne Newspaper) today. This direct action cuts through the red tape
and pilfering so prevalent in this part of the world.
connected with Sri Lanka through some tours we operate to this country. Our
partners have survived in body, but lost tourism assets including their dive
centres. We have two groups departing - 01 and 10 Jan and both are going
ahead (not going to affected areas).
contacted the Melbourne doctors and offered money to purchase medical
supplies for them to use in direct action. It seems some other like minded
persons have done so also. We will be contacting our group members and
asking if they will carry supplies with them as additional baggage to be
collected in Colombo. Qantas
and Airlanka have been contacted and I received an authority for up to 30kg
excess baggage for each person.
supplies can be expensive, but compact so his method of personal delivery
should mean a quick and secure method of re-supply. We have yet to contact
all members of the group, but do not envisage reluctance to take extra
any visitors to this page feel this form of positive and direct action is
worthwhile and would like to contribute directly to the doctors concerned
then I would be happy to introduce you. Your funds could be used to secure
supplies needed and our group members could ensure the supplies get to
Colombo where they would be handed to the doctors themselves.