On December 26, 2004, a major earthquake off the west coast of Northern Sumatra measuring 9.0 on the Richterscale triggered a massive tsunami. According to official estimates, Sri Lanka suffered more than 31,000 confirmed fatalities; 23,000 injured had to receive medical treatment. Approximately 13% of makeshift shelters along the coastwere washed away – 69,000 houses were completely destroyed, and 43,000 homes were damaged. The number of homeless was estimated at over 500,000; every 12th island inhabitant required assistance.
Visiting the refugee camps which were established following the tsunami, we were regularly confronted with the insufficient medical supply at the camps as well as at the hospitals. The few hospitals, which had not been damaged or completely demolished by the tsunami, did not have enough capacity for all the injured people and were in urgent need of medicine and medical supply."
Children's Surgical Care
Cardiac Catheter for Dinithi Uththara
We met Dinithi Uththara and her parents at the clinic in the Mawella camp. Dinithi is a 14-months-old girl who was born with a complete atrioventricular septal defect. She has a healthy twin sister. Dinithi's parents approached us for help.
Children's Surgical Care
Cochlear Implant for Thirushi Praveena Jayasuriya
Thirushi Praveena Jayasuriya is a 7-year-old girl who needs a cochlear implant in order to not lose her hearing. The cost for the surgery will be 2.3 million Rupees ($23,000. -). The consulting ENT surgeon is: Dr. Devendra Jha at the Apollo Hospitals in Colombo.
On April 7, 2007, Anjali Mendis has undergone a successful Total Correction of Tetralogy of Fallot at Sri Jayawardenepura General Hospital in Nugegoda, Sri Lanka. Performing cardiothoracic surgeon was Dr. Aruna Kapuruge. Postoperatively, Anjali went into low output failure of the heart, requiring high inotropic support. She later also had to undergo peritoneal dialysis due to capillary leak syndrome and renal impairment. She had a lengthy stay at the ICU, but completely recovered from her surgery and was discharged on June 6, 2007.
This camp has not been fortunate to be taken under the care of any large NGO. It is one of the 'missed' camps. Each of the 29 families here receives only 375 rupees a week from the Sri Lankan government, roughly $3.50 US and is at the mercy of passersby for all other donations. This is the camp I worked at during my month in Sri Lanka, one month after the tsunami. During that time, I helped raise $2000 US from friends in the USA and Canada, which paid for 500 pairs of eyeglasses for tsunami victims in the Tangalle area, on the south coast.
The Real Medicine Foundation is sponsoring this young woman's education.
The factory is only 10km away from her house. She is very happy with her job and will continue with them. The starting salary according to her is 5000.00 and she is satisfied with that for the moment as she does not have any working experience.
She wrote her final exam at the Garment Institute on the 18th of March 2006.
After learning about the orphans, the homeless and the unemployed people who were greatly affected by the tsunami, 8-year-old Jade Brenner-Katz knew that she needed to do her part.
"I'm lucky to have a great life and I want to help kids who don't have as much as I do," Jade said. She wanted to send toys, stuffed animals and clothes to the children who had to go through this traumatic experience, hoping to bring a little light into their lives and let them know that she cared.
Real Medicine Foundation provides humanitarian support to people living in disaster and poverty stricken areas, focusing on the person as a whole by providing medical/physical, emotional, social, and economic support.
We provide immediate disaster and crisis relief where there is need.
We save lives and restore a foundation of dignity amidst devastation and extreme poverty.
We listen, learn, and support the long term whole health of communities most in need, and commit to projects where we will make lasting change.
We believe in the human ability to transform — that the people in developing and disaster stricken areas are most capable of creating solutions to their unique challenges.
We employ, train and educate locals, producing innovative solutions and strong communities that sustain and grow health care capacity, enlisting cutting edge technology and modern best practices.
We ignite the potential of the people we are supporting — turning aid into empowerment and victims into leaders.
Our goals are always to save lives, and liberate the creative capacity of the communities we help.