Telecentre News

Telemedicine Gets a Human Face: Remote Treating of Genetic Disorders in Sri Lanka

The Telegenetics Project initiative of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka endeavours to take the dividends of the highly specialized field of human genetics to rural communities through an ICT platform, and draws on the infrastructure facilities of the newest Nenasala at the Kurunegala Hospital and that of the Koslanda Nenasala.

The Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka’s Nenasala Project has broken new ground when it opened its first Hospital Nenasala at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital on 11 June 2007, under the patronage of the Sri Lanka’s Minister of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and Kurunegala district’s  MP, Jayarathna Herath. Kurunegala is a district of Sri Lanka.

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The project has been made possible through the partnership of the ICTA with the Human Genetics Unit of the Medical Faculty University of Colombo and the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital.

The Project is one of the projects implemented under the e-Sri Lanka Initiative. Formally known as the ‘Vishva Gnana Kendra Project (Nenasala)’, ICTA has incorporated it under the ‘Nenasala’ label to introduce several models of the telecentres or knowledge centres to be established in all parts of Sri Lanka; for spreading ICT services to the rural and semi-urban population of this island-nation.

The significance of this latest ICTA initiative is that it opens up new opportunities in healthcare for remote rural communities. For the poor and underserved in Sri Lanka, living in remote rural areas of the island nation, access to quality healthcare is a challenge. One of the many ways in which ICT can facilitate healthcare is through remote consultation, diagnosis, and treatment through telemedicine, which is gaining currency in the Sri Lankan health scenario.  An inconceivable phenomenon not too long ago, it is now a fast growing reality in Sri Lanka;  now a patient in a remote rural area is able to obtain expert advice from a specialist in Colombo without having to move out of his local environment.

Although this technological revolution is yet to bring a paradigm shift in the delivery of healthcare services, increasing sophistication in supporting technologies such as telecommunication, mobile monitoring devices, etc. has made telemedicine systems much more potent than ever before. This initiative of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka endeavours to take the dividends of the highly specialized field of human genetics to rural communities through an ICT platform, and draws on the infrastructure facilities of the newest Nenasala at the Kurunegala Hospital and that of the Koslanda Nenasala.

Colombo Fort Railway Station Nanasala: Innovative Location, Innovative Services

Lionel Jayasuriya, a businessman from Panadura, is one among tens of thousands of rail commuters who daily disembark at Colombo Fort Railway Station and fan out to offices and shops across the heart of Colombo. Most commuters, however, would be surprised to learn that Lionel, and others like him, actually conduct their core business activities from a pocket-sized ‘virtual office’ upon Platform 5-6.

Strategically situated in Colombo Fort Railway Station, the hub of Sri Lanka’s railway system, Colombo Fort Telecentre is a short stroll from government ministries and the country’s largest wholesale business district. The only one of Sri Lanka’s 587 Telecentres licensed and custom designed to operate within a railway station, it is a beehive of social and commercial activity, both by its patrons and by N. Vijayaratnam, a visionary entrepreneur who foresaw the potential of positioning an e-commerce hub within a bustling transportation hub.

“Before I started, I first studied the activities of other Telecentres,” says Vijay, as his friends known him. “I realized most of them had IT courses as their sole source of revenue. All were competing with commercial institutes and with each other.”

A Telecentre had already been established at Fort Railway Station, yet despite a unique location with daily exposure to ceaseless crowds of travelers, it was struggling. Vijay believed he could turn the Telecentre into a commercial success by combining its unique location with an intuitive sense of 21st Century business trends.

“Our Telecentre’s location on a railway platform meant space was at a premium, with no room for IT classes. Like this, I weighed our location against the endless reasons why such a multitude of people pour through this railway station daily.”

“With few exceptions, people come by rail to Colombo Fort with some business activity in mind. They are coming to make business connections, either to sell or to buy goods and services. So I decided to distinguish Colombo Fort Telecentre from other telecentres through a single-minded focus on business and commerce. Our Telecentre serves businesses and business people.”

Deyata Sevana plants 1.1 million saplings

Koslanda Nenasala at Deyata Sewana

‘Deyata Sevana’– the national programme to plant 1.1 million saplings within 11 minutes in all over the island to mark the Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s birthday and swearing in ceremony took place on 15th November 2010. Koslanda Nenasala in Badulla district under the guidance of Srikanth, one of the active & dynamic Nenasala owners, together with school children took part in this national event by planting 100 saplings in Koslandaand Poonagala areas. Under the theme “Let’s build an era of IT in Uva wellassa” Srikanth, also the president of Hill Country Disabled Group had guided his Nenasala staff members and the community in the Koslanda area to actively participate in the National Tree Planting campaign.

Today, the world is at a great risk due to the global climate changes and global warming. Therefore it is highly commendable that country’s leadership taking the initiative to conserve the natural environment. Considering this fact, Srikanth had given the opportunity to all the school children to surf the internet for free from Koslanda Nenasala & other nenasalas that is under his management. Number of children searched internet & collected facts and figures on current climate changes, global warming & environmental security on this day.