January 29: The United States, in coordination with zonal and provincial education and health services authorities, is setting up health rooms at 120 schools around the country, an initiative to support the health and well-being of thousands of Sri Lankan students. The health rooms promote Ministry of Education recommendations to ensure basic precautionary measures against COVID-19 and will include beds, mattresses, first aid kits, portable screens, and water dispensers. The rooms enable isolation and related care for students if needed.
Located in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaithivu, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Anuradhapura, Kandy, Moneragala, and Gampaha, the health rooms will promote the well-being of students even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Students will be able to have their vision checked and access other health services. The health rooms were supported through the U.S. Government’s development agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“For more than 50 years, the United States’ global health programs have saved lives, protected people most vulnerable to disease, and promoted stable communities,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz. “We’re helping reduce the spread of COVID-19 by supporting health authorities in their isolation of suspected cases and by promoting the overall health of students in rural areas of Sri Lanka.”
The United States is helping Sri Lanka combat COVID-19 by preparing laboratory systems, activating case-finding and event-based surveillance, and supporting technical experts for response and preparedness. The health rooms are part of more than $6 million in COVID-19 assistance the United States has provided to Sri Lanka.