About 2,000 people admitted to hospital with spinal cord injuries annually

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Between 1,500 and 2,000 people were admitted to hospital for spinal cord injuries each year in Sri Lanka, Consultant Spinal Cord injury surgeon Dr. Narendra Pinto said yesterday.

Addressing the media on the International Day for Persons with Disabilities at the Health Ministry, Dr. Pinto identified occupational hazards and domestic accidents as the main causes of spinal cord injuries.

Dr. Pinto pointed out that due to lack of awareness victims were not dispatched to hospital properly. As a result the victims injuries were aggravated while being transported.

Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka said that the Health Ministry had officially asked both private and public sectors to ensure that buildings were made easily accessible to people with disabilities.

At present most public and private sector organisations had not taken care to provide easy access to them, he said. As a result the disabled persons faced difficulties.

Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that he had received Cabinet approval to make it mandatory to provide the disabled with easy access to private and public sector buildings.

The government was also planning to employ the disabled persons, the Minister said.

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