Chairman's message:

28 Dec 2015

We have awaited the delivery of several developments to bring them all together for this 2015 update. The following headings bring together the achievements for the year and provide a platform for 2016.

Presidents Funding for Cardiac Surgery at the NCH: Following inspection by the Private Hospitals Commission the OHF facilitated the progress of the positive recommendation made by them through the Ministry of Health and the Presidential secretariat.
We have recently obtained the support of the President’s Fund to the tune of Rs200,000.00 per patient. This will greatly facilitate our service delivery.

Teaching and Training:

The teaching and training is the heart of providing a cardiothoracic surgical service. The Oxonian Heart Foundation well recognised this criteria and raise funding to support this. It took the first initiative in 2013, well before they start the cardiac service at the Northern Central Hospital. Dr Ravi Pillai gave the initial introduction lecture for a group of approximately 30 nurses from the Northern Central Hospital (NCH).

Ms Wendy Allen, a cardiac intensive care sister and tutor at the Oxford University Hospital and Ms Shirley Janas, clinical sister at the Oxford University Hospital and a previous research nurse to Mr Ravi Pillai contributed to the teaching and training. Ms Allen spent 8 weeks at the initial stage of developing cardiac surgical service at the NCH, particularly focusing on developing protocols. Ms Janas has been continuing her service for over six months in charge of the cardiac intensive care team and also contributing significantly to the teaching and training.

Ms Janas successfully managed to create a intensive care team, mainly focusing on the cardiac surgical service. The team currently consists of twelve nurses.  Following the departure of the Oxford team the local team has continued to look after post surgical patients including two emergency procedures transferred from the General Hospital. This team is crucial in teaching and maintain sustainability by ensuing transfer of knowledge for other new nurses, who would be recruited into the system as the program expands.

Recent examples of teaching and training  

Further to work with the NCH, the OHF is also engaged in promoting cardiac service in Sri Lanka. Mr Ravi Pillai has given an invited talk, organised by the Jaffna Medical Association. The title of the talk was Mitral Valve Repair: to ring or not.
The OHF sponsored a talk to the cardiac community at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on the Haemodymics of mechanical and tissue valves. Cardiologists and Cardiac surgeons attended this. Professor Ajith Yoganathan, Professor of Biomedical engineering at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

The students of Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna have been visiting and watching cardiac surgery at the NCH. The OHF provides opportunities to medical students to observe cardiac surgery and to encourage interest in this speciality. We have also been providing tutorials for small groups of students in their final year.

Clinical Activity:

We have performed around thirty procedures and should accelerate in the future with the support of the President’s Fund. This included two emergencies from the teaching hospital a thirty year old woman and a twelve-year-old girl, who certainly would not not have survived the long journey to a centre in Kandy or Colombo. These two emergencies, along with the first case (16 year old girl had a patch closure of ASD) were done with no cost to the patient.

One of the OHF Trustees and Chairman of the Northern Central Hospital Mr S Ponnusamy underwent successful valve and by pass surgery three months ago at the NCH.

Donor News:

The OHF as always is most grateful to all our donors and supporters. In the past twelve months contributions from the following are acknowledged:

1. SLMANA for the donation of a sternal saw costing in excess of Rs2million.

2. Ms Shahila Perumalpillai, Dr M Sritharan and wife Sugandi of Michigan, and the Mills family for funding a patient.

3.The corporate sector in Sri Lanka including Central Finance Corporation, Carson Cumberbatch.