Apeksa Cancer Hospital in Maharagama will soon get a brand-new building complex for the benefit of small children who seek in-house treatment at the hospital.

Believe it or not, they are presently warded at a makeshift badly-congested facility made of three containers.

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As a solution, the new building comes into being on a concept by Dishan Gunasekara, the Basnayake Nilame of Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devale. Now nearing completion, it is funded by the monies offered by devotees to God Skanda.

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Explaining how the idea came into being, he said one day he saw on television the news that the hospital’s linear accelerator had malfunctioned.

The very next day, he went and met the director of the hospital, who said the Health Ministry promised to get it repaired within five days.

Dr. Wasantha Ratnayake, who was also present, had something more to say.

He said it would be invaluable if a solution is given to end congestion in children’s wards.

After seeing the situation himself, Gunasekara planned a new building in consultation with the hospital director.


The new building

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The four-storey building now under construction has so far cost Rs. 110 million, he said.

There are no labour costs, because the Air Force and the Navy are giving their personnel to do the labour work. Gunasekara thanked their commanders for their invaluable contributions.

The foundation was laid in September 2023. It is due to be opened at the end of this month.


Its facilities

Gunasekara said it has 76 beds occupying two floors. There are modern sanitation facilities for the children and their accompanying parents.

Each patient has a separate bed for its mother, which could be inserted when not in use to avoid disruptions to the treatment process.


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It also has a kitchen that allows mothers to cook food to the children’s liking.

Also included is a bone-marrow transplant surgery unit capable of treating four patients at a time. If done at a private hospital, a transplant costs up to Rs. 20 million.

There is also a children’s playground and library to entertain the little ones.

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With specially-trained doctors already in service, no need arises to recruit new ones at this new building.

Furthermore, on the very day this building gets opened, the foundation will be laid for another one with a 500-bed capacity.

It will replace the hospital’s existing wards for adults with less facilities, Basnayake explained. Out of a total of 1,000 beds in the hospital, only 500 are equipped with modern facilities.


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Gunasekara said an account named ‘Kadira Devapeksha’ has been opened to raise further funds.

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(By Jayasiri Alawatte)


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