Navy – made 350 thalassemia infusion systems handed over to Ministry of Health

Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne handed over three hundred and fifty (350) thalassemia infusion systems, produced by Sri Lanka Navy Thalassemia Infusion System Project operating under Naval Social Responsibility (NSR) initiatives, to the Ministry of Health, at the Navy Headquarters today (21st April 2021).

Thalassemia is considered to be the most common inherited blood disorder in Sri Lanka. 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. Realizing the hardships faced by patients suffering from thalassemia, due to high-priced infusion systems, the Naval Research and Development Unit manufactured a low-cost thalassemia infusion system in 2011, as part of an NSR initiative. Meanwhile, all officers and sailors voluntarily contribute to this noble cause from their monthly salaries.

Accordingly, the Navy Research and Development Unit manufactures these thalassemia infusion systems incurring Rs. 4,250 and make them available to thalassemia patients free of charge, allowing them to breathe a sigh of relief. However, a similar infusion system is sold in the market at prices as high as Rs. 75,000 – 100,000.

The Navy Research and Development Unit received the CDDA – (Cosmetics Devices & Drugs Regulatory Authority) Certificate No (DVR-PR-019014) for production of thalassemia infusion pumps in 2011. Further, Sri Lanka Navy’s social responsibility initiative was recognized with the National Award for Best Medium Size Manufacturer from the Sri Lanka Institute of Engineers for the production of Thalassemia Infusion System in 2012.

Since 2011, the Sri Lanka Navy has handed over 2374 thalassemia infusion systems to main hospitals and selected children down with the disease, in several phases. In addition to manufacturing thalassemia injectors, the Navy's Research and Development Unit is also engaged in after - service operations, providing timely repairs to those units, while rendering a quiet service in an expeditious and responsible manner. Extending all possible support for this timely initiative, the Navy is determined to produce 400 more thalassemia infusion systems in year 2021.

The Deputy Director General (Non-Communicable Diseases) of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Champika Wickramasinghe, Director Naval Projects and Plans, Commodore Pradeep Rathnayake, officers from Navy's Research and Development Unit were present on the occasion which saw the symbolic delivery of 350 thalassemia infusion systems to the Ministry of Health today.