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Cypriot Doctors of the World leave for Sri Lanka
2004-12-29 11:12:06

Nicosia, Dec 29 (CNA) -- A Cypriot mission of the Doctors of the World left for Sri Lanka this morning while a second mission is preparing to leave by the end of the week on a Greek Airforce plane.

Vice President of the Cyprus Branch of the Doctors of the World, Maria Shakali told CNA that the Cypriot doctors are carrying with them 150 kilos of cholera, tetanus, hepatitis and scarlet fever vaccines to inoculate the more susceptible groups of people in the area of Galle which has been worst hit.

Doctors Yiannis Taliotis, nurse Lenia Lambrou and biologist, epidemiologist and genetist Matheos Demetriades are scheduled to arrive in Colombo in the early hours tomorrow and join the French and Spanish Doctors of the World for coordination.

Taliotis told reporters before his departure that they are aware of what they will face since they have similar experience in other parts of the world.

The only problem, he indicated, is the inaccessibility of the roads since highways and rail lines leading to Galle from Colombo have been destroyed, thus making their journey longer.

Shakalli said that Cyprus' General Consul in Sri Lanka had contacted the Doctors of the World in Cyprus and informed them on a list of medicines which are urgently needed in the stricken areas.

The Doctors of the World in Cyprus have pledged to supply the medicines and send them to Sri Lanka on Sunday when a three-member mission will depart to Sri Lanka on a Greek airforce transport plane (C-130). The same plane will carry medicine which the first mission deems are required to be sent to the area.

Epidemiologist Demetriades said they were leaving for Sri Lanka with “mixed feelings, worried about the unknown but also hope about tomorrow that we will be able to do what we can for these people”.

He said the mission was also carrying antibiotics, antipyretics, analgesics and anti-diarrhea drugs.

Nurse Lambrou said “faithful to our pledge to Hippocrates, we are going to Sri Lanka to offer what we can to those suffering”, adding that the main aim is to prevent epidemics and contagious diseases.

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