His Excellency the President hands over the 5th consignment of Navy’s Thalassemia Infusion Systems

The free distribution of 275 Thalassemia Infusion Systems produced by the Sri Lanka Navy came about today (2) at the President’s Residence Colombo under the patronage of His Excellency the President Maithreepala Sirisena. The event which was recorded as the 5th phase of the Navy’s distribution of Thalassemia Infusion Systems, was attended by the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi, the Director of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Dr. Rathnasiri A Hewage, the Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne and the Director General Health Services of the Navy, Rear Admiral Lalith Ekanayake.

The Infusion System is very essential for Thalassemia patients for the removal of excessive iron deposits gathered in vital organs as a result of frequent blood transfusions which are needed for the treatment of the disease. When the treatment is given it is necessary to give the right dose for a period of 8-10 hours. However this is practically a very difficult task in hospitals. This Infusion System was invented by the Sri Lanka Navy in 2010 in view of minimizing the aforesaid inconvenience. By then a Thalassemia Infusion System cost around Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 150,000 and its battery life was not so durable.

Due to the above constraints and difficulty of upgrading in case of failure in the system, the whole system needed to be replaced. However overcoming all the constraints the Navy’s Research and Development Unit was able to develop a new infusion pump which was manufactured at a relatively low cost incurring about Rs.5,500. Further utilizing their expertise and know how, the Research and Development Unit of the Navy improved the standard of the infusion pump to a higher level and it is now being used under the Health Ministry guidelines in Government hospitals. In 2012 the system won the Engineering Excellence Award from the Institution of Engineers of Sri Lanka for its manufacturing excellence.

The production of Thalassemia Infusion Systems is carried out under the direct supervision of the Commander of the Navy and 1,200 infusion pumps have been distributed under 5 phases across government hospitals and children’s hospitals thus far. Further the Navy is continued to produce the infusion pumps to meet the total requirement of the nation.