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Help with the milk powder, protein supplements and other essentials for cancer patients:

About 12 months ago, we started a service for poor patients with the help of a friend who owns a pharmacy at Maharagama. We realized that many patients who call us for help are unable to buy milk and protein supplements. As many patients visit the Apeksha hospital for treatment and follow up from faraway places, it is easier for them to visit the pharmacy at the same time. Following our assessment of the needs of the patient, the pharmacist has agreed to issue the requested items free of charge, for which Sahan Suwa would settle the expenses later. These also include face masks for the children with leukemia; urinary catheters and pampers for the bed-bound; medicines which are not available in the hospital. This service is much appreciated by the patients and carers, as these items increase the financial burden of the carer, who is already in debt.

Assistance for the bed-bound:

We provide wheelchairs, commode chairs and commode wheelchairs to those who are unable to walk, free of charge.  We make sure that the chair is bought and transported as quickly as possible.  A large number of patients have benefitted from these.

Please read about patient J who was donated a commode wheelchair and patient K who was donated an outdoor wheelchair to sell lottery tickets for his living, in the mid-year report, 2018 and the newsletter 2017.

Childrens’ project:

This is still going strong. This was started about 2 yrs ago, with the help of friends of Mithuruwala. The owners of Shanthi Niwasa have kindly given a room, to be used as an activity/playroom for the sick children. Purnima from the UK helped to decorate the room and brought a lot of books and toys.  Indunil made a huge contribution by getting a room and supervising the decorations; without her support, this project would not have succeeded.

Our training is free of charge even to the private sector

Training of nurses and doctors 2018/2019:

Balangoda hospital:

we visited Balangoda hospital in February 2018, at the invitation of Dr. Gihan Piyasiri, consultant anaesthetist.

Following the training, Dr. Piyasiri has started a palliative care clinic, which is the second clinic in a district hospital in the island. This has helped many patients in and around Balangoda area. They are able to access palliative care and symptom control without travelling to Ratnapura which is a long way off.

Training at Karapitiya hospital, November 2018 


Above training was carried out to a group of nurses and doctors in order to start a palliative care clinic at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, at the invitation of Dr. Chrysantha Perera, the consultant onco-surgeon.

Training of Sahan Suwa nurses and doctors, February 2019

We carry out regular training of Sahan Suwa nurses, volunteers and doctors every year, to update in palliative care and to improve communication skills.

This is essential to provide the best possible community service to the patients and carers. 14 volunteers, including one of our counsellors and a physiotherapist, attended the training this year, from distant areas such as Hambanthota, Balangoda, Kalutara, and Panadura. It was an intensive course; at the same time, we enjoyed the company of all volunteers. Learning from each other made it more interesting.

Kasul, one of our active volunteer nurses and Vipuli, a lay volunteer told us of their experience of the community service; the difficulties of caring for the terminally ill patients and their families; and also of the joy of seeing the recovery of patients following psychological, social and financial help.