The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), the national professional medical association in Sri Lanka which seeks to brings together medical practitioners of all grades and all branches of medicine, recently made an initial donation of pulse oximeters to COVID-19 patients in the Colombo district who are being triaged and home managed under the SLMA’s Doc 247 call service.
A pulse oximeter is a noninvasive device placed on an individual’s fingertip and uses light beams to estimate the oxygen saturation of the blood and the pulse rate. A normal level of oxygen is usually 95% or higher, so if at any point a patient’s readout is less, patients should contact a healthcare provider.
These potentially life-saving devices which were purchased by COVID Sahana, the SLMA COVID relief fund, were handed over to the Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO), Acting Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, General Shavendra Silva in the presence of Dr. Asela Gunawardena, Director General of Health Services and other members of the SLMA.
Speaking about the project, Dr Ruvaiz Haniffa, the Chairperson of the Doc 247 Working Group of the SLMA said, “We currently see many those afflicted with Covid-19 are asymptomatic and are thus quarantining themselves at home. Devices such as pulse oximeters play a key role in self-diagnosis and has the potential to save countless lives. As an apex medical body in the country, we consider it our duty to lend all possible aid to the suffering and to ensure that it reaches those who are truly in need. We plan to make several more donations to the people of this country when needed, and warmly invite anyone who would like to join us to do so by logging onto our website and donating to our COVID Sahana fund.”
The Sri Lanka Medical Association is the oldest professional medical association in Asia and Australasia, with a proud history that dates to 1887. Due to the progressive increase in the number of medical practitioners in the country, the profession felt a strong need for an association that would bring all doctors to a common platform which would safeguard, maintain, and promote the interests and honor of the medical profession, thus leading to the formation of the association. It also aims to provide a forum for its members to further their professional and academic development.