Trail forging ahead with its cancer care initiatives


Trail announced the commencement of construction of the proposed Karapitiya Trail Cancer Hospital on 25th of November 2019 at the designated land within the premises of the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. The ceremony was graced by the Board of Directors of Colours of Courage Trust, supporters of the Trail initiative, staff from Ministry of Health and National Health Development Fund and blessed by religious heads of the four faiths.

The proposed Karapitiya Trail Cancer Hospital, designed as an auxiliary unit to the existing Cancer Unit at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, is a 10-storey cancer treatment facility complete with Radiology and Chemotherapy units, 5 floors of Oncology wards, Paediatric Ward, Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, out-patient clinic and pharmacy, ICU and Operating Theatre along with an auditorium for conference facilities with a seating capacity of over 150.

In 2011 Nathan Sivagananathan and Sarinda Unamboowe set out to transform the lives of patients with cancer by bringing together the people of Sri Lanka to aid and honour those battling cancer. The ethnic conflict spanning nearly three decades had left the Northern territory with little room for economic or social development and the ongoing war had made the 400km journey to the country’s only cancer hospital, the National Cancer Institute located in Maharagama, Colombo, even more challenging as patients had to travel by both sea and land to circumvent land blocks and danger zones resulting in many patients choosing to remain untreated, unwilling to make the arduous journey across the country to receive the treatment they required.

Following the success of Trail 2011, Trail 2016 – The Walk Back, was held from the 6th of October till the 2nd of November 2016, this time in reverse, tackling the 670km course from Point Pedro to Dondra Head over 28 days to raise USD 5 million to provide some much-needed relief to the Cancer Unit at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital, Galle with a state-of-the-art extension, the Karapitiya Trail Cancer Hospital. The proposed Karapitiya Trail Cancer Hospital is a collaborative effort between Colours of Courage Trust and Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, pledged to match the contribution by Trail dollar for dollar.

Trail was driven by the earnest participation and generous contributions by the multitude and saw all communities across Sri Lanka coalesce in the fight against cancer. Trail 2016 achieved its goal of solidarity with over 75,000 people joining the walk, over 250,000 donors contributing and receiving the enthusiastic support of over 2.5 million people along the course to raise nearly LRK 50 million en-route.

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