Rotary Club Colombo West steps in to save lives

The Rotary Club of Colombo West (RCCW) in its committed effort to address a grave national
concern in the country: Chronic Kidney Decease (CKD) and End Stage Renal Failure (ESRF),
has once again pledged its support to the cause by setting up a renal care centre in Padaviya,
providing dialysis services that cover patients from Medawachchiya, Kebithigollewa, Mediriyawa,
Hingurakgoda, and even patients from as far off as Trincomalee, where the need now is greater than
in Anuradhapura. This is due primarily to the unavailability of urgently needed medical services to
the economically challenged farming community in the district.

Statistical information shows that around 15,000 patients have or in the process of receiving
treatment for CKD. In Padaviya alone an average of 1,200 patients visit the hospital for urgently
required treatment. Presently, the mortality rate is 10 people a month. As a direct result of only
10 dialysis machines being available in the entire area, patients over the age of 50 are actively
discouraged from seeking treatment, while services are made available only to the young and

Research data shows that nephrotoxins such as arsenic and cadmium have been found in water
samples from the North-Central and the Uva Provinces, while urine samples from CKD victims
showed that 56 per cent had cadmium excretion, indicating early kidney damage and around 63 per
cent of patients had urine arsenic levels above 21 ug/g (urine arsenic levels above 21 ug/g can cause
changes in kidney tissue, which may lead to Chronic Kidney Disease).

This alarming news comes close on the heels of the WHO urging the government to formulate a
regulatory framework to control the quality of imported fertilisers and pesticides, which have been
identified as being the primary cause for contamination of the water table.

With a focus on continuing the mission begun several years ago, the Rotary Club of Colombo West
is now concentrating its efforts to raise funds for the prevention of CKD in the region. The RCCW has
already earmarked an area (42′ x 46′) for the proposed Kidney Dialysis Centre within the existing
Hospital in Padaviya, utilising funds raised through the club from various sources in Sri Lanka and

The funds available will be used to purchase six (6) haemodialysis machines, a water treatment
plant, 6 intensive care beds, a cardiac monitor, blood gas analyser, and three infusion and syringe
pumps, three suction machines as well as other medical accessories required by the centre.

While the project cost has been calculated to be Rs. 25 million, the ultimate goal of the club is the
handing over of the medical centre to the government hospital authorities once the centre is fully
equipped and staffed. Eager to arrest this grave national issue the RC CW intends to implement this
programme on a continuing basis.

At present sponsorship for the required equipment has been made by Hyundai Lanka (Pvt) Ltd,
the Rotary Foundation District 3230, Medical aid to Sri Lanka from the UK, Mr, Nalin Welgama, the
Rotary Club of Unley, Australia. Ms. Kumudhuni Kulasinhe, and the Rotary Club of Australia District