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Tuesday 19 July 2005

Sri Lanka: Post-tsunami sterilisation reversal

A Sri Lankan surgeon today performed the country’s first known post-tsunami sterilisation reversal procedure on a mother whose three children were killed by the December 26 waves. The event in the southern coastal town of Galle, one of the worst-hit by the disaster, is another sign of how the tsunami-devastated nation is grappling to recover. More than 31,000 people were killed and 1 million affected by the tsunami.

“Since that day when I lost all my children, I have been waiting for this day,” said A. Shanthi, recovering from general anaesthesia at the Mahamodara Hospital for women.

“She has a good chance to have a baby again,” said Dr. Gamini Perera, who reconnected the fallopian tubes of Shanthi, 30, whose husband Shelton Soyza, 34, is an employee of the local municipality.

Many Sri Lankan mothers choose to be sterilised after their second or third child through a tubal ligation, a medical procedure that involves closing or tying a woman’s fallopian tubes. The technique is reversible in most cases.

“Now I have only one prayer and that is to have my babies back,” said Shanthi, as two nurses checked her blood pressure and shifted her from the recovery room to the ward where she will stay for three more days.

"Today is an important day for us,” said Perera, 48. “This is the first case since the tsunami in Sri Lanka.”

Another mother was waiting for her turn. Sithihy Fareedha, 28, also lost her three children, two girls and a boy, in the tsunami and came to the hospital for the reversal surgery.

“I discussed this with my husband and we decided to start life all over again,” she said of her husband Mohamed Fawsar, 35, a fisherman.

Perera is not charging the mothers, and the entire treatment is free in the state-run hospital.

“We are starting to see a trend of devastated families trying to restart their lives all over again,” said Dr. Priyanee Senadhira, the director of the hospital. The tsunami disaster killed more than 176,000 people in 11 countries, left about 50,000 missing and hundreds of thousands homeless.

(Source: IrelandOnline)
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