Mahiloormunai – a fishing village of 1,500 people in the East of Sri Lanka – was the location for a mobile clinic run by MAI Partner, Navajeevana. In temperatures of 38 degrees and high humidity levels, a dentist and two doctors sweated away for hours. Supported by other care staff and a pharmacist, the dentist undertook 33 treatments and the doctors held consultations with 99 patients. Where necessary, the patients received free drugs for their conditions which ranged from convulsions, peptic ulcers to the prevalent respirator tract infection.
Mahiloormunai was devastated by the tsunami ten years before and many families are still struggling to recover. Although the principal occupation is fishing, traders from outside offer low prices and a community with foodstuff on its doorstep in the lagoon still struggle in poverty. This is not helped by the fact that some outsiders have descended since the tsunami and built beautiful buildings that are only occasionally occupied beside the sea in this tranquil location.
Navajeevana’s work in this area is now largely restricted to health education. The small part time team work with the children who then teach their parents about health and hygiene. Additionally, they are encouraging adults to farm collectively so that vegetable and livestock production can benefit the entire community.
The mobile clinic was held to demonstrate to MAI the kind of work that Navajeevana wish to undertake in the Tamil dominated north, post-conflict. Sadly, permission has not yet been granted by a sensitive Government, despite the excellent track record that Navajeevana has for its work in the area immediately post-conflict.