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Thaimai Centre Project to Facilitate Motherhood Cooperative Hospital Society, Moolai

Introduction

Generally, the biggest dream of a couple after getting married is to have at least one child of their own. However, some couples do not achieve success in this aspect due to medical and/or health reasons – the common ones relate to a woman’s reduced ability to ovulate, conceive, or carry a pregnancy to term, as well as a man’s low sperm production. Thus, a female, male or both among a couple could have one or more of the above medical problems. The tensions and uncertainties that most of them had faced during the war would have also exacerbated their predicament.

There are no facilities available in Northern Province that could provide the needed comprehensive treatment and care to overcome the above medical problems, while they are available in some Colombo based hospitals. The combined cost of the needed treatment, stay in Colombo and travels will be beyond the reach of a family in the North having an average income. But most of the affected couples feel ashamed to seek medical help. Therefore they require privacy during the treatment – to avoid becoming a laughing stock within their close community. In addition, they would have to spend a number of weeks away from their kith and kin. Appreciation of these has resulted in the proposed Thaimai Centre Project – to set up a well-equipped facility at Moolai Hospital.

Thaimai Centre Project

The Centre is proposed to be located on 1st floor to give privacy to the patients. The capital cost is estimated to be Rs 24 M, comprising infrastructure Rs 1.4 M, medical equipment in the theatre Rs 21 M and recovery room Rs 1.3 M. The cost of the consumable per year (operating cost), to cover the cost culture media for etc for 20 patients, is Rs 1.5 M in the 1st year. The total funding needed cover all the above would be Rs 25.5 M. The Centre will offer the needed comprehensive treatments covering the field of reproductive medicine (gynaecology) to the childless couples. The different treatments would include the following – the approximate cost of each is also given:

  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): a complex /expensive procedure involving female patient fertility drugs, eggs collected from her are fertilised in the lab using partner’s sperm, resulting embryos cultured in the lab and finally inserted back into her uterus in the theatre: cost Rs 700,000; a typical IVF treatment takes about 7 weeks.
  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI):- sperms collected from male patient are washed and concentrated and directly placed in the partner’s uterus at the time her egg reaches the uterus: cost Rs 75,000.
  • Intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): this procedure in a lab involves injecting a selected sperm of a male into the centre of his partner’s egg because the egg’s outer layer too thick or hard and the sperm cannot penetrate it; this is an additional procedure in support IVF: cost Rs 70,000.

Dr Jey Jeyendran, a professionally well recognised specialist in the US, leads a service that provides the needed laboratory and technical support (Andrology) to a number of gynaecologists there. He has come forward to provide technical and other help to facilitate the setting up of Thaimai Centre. He will continue to provide regular guidance for the Centre. Please see website www.androlab.com for further info on Dr Jeyendran and the services he provides.

However, a couple having an average income would not afford to meet the cost of an IVF treatment, and this would apply to a number of childless couples in the North. The Thaimai Centre is, therefore, setting up a fund and the procedures to administer the provision of loans from this fund up to 10 needy couples per year. On the other hand, a couple having a low income would not be able to pay for even the IUI procedure for the male partner and therefore in rare circumstances, the Centre would provide this procedure free (grant) for up to 5 childless couples in this category in each year. Funds needed to give the 10 loans and 5 grants would amount to Rs 7.35 M. This together with the amount of Rs 25.5 M shown above would require a total fund collection of Rs 32.85 M.

Appeal for Funds

The Cooperative Hospital at Moolai is appealing to our individual well-wishers among the Tamil Diaspora and from those based in Sri Lanka as well as from charities and organisations based abroad provide this much needed financial support.