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Saturday 8 January 2005

York doctors first in Sri Lanka

York Region doctors reached the heart of Sri Lanka's disaster zone this week, ahead of other outside help the world has promised. A medical team led by Dr. Jegapathy Rajendra of Markham was treating refugees around the eastern coastal town of Batticaloa, a district the Sri Lanka government says has more displaced people than any other.

By Tuesday, foreign aid hadn't reached camps of survivors dotting the countryside in schools, churches and temples. "Up to now, there's none visible," Dr. Rajendra said from Batticaloa Tuesday night. A "crowd of human suffering" has greeted the nine-member group at each camp, where one third of 1,000 to 1,500 refugees are typically children under 10 and there's no powdered milk for infants, he said.

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