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Impetus to Rotary and Ministry of Health partnership to eliminate cervical cancer



Launch of WHO global strategy

Seventeenth November 2020 marks a historic milestone, with the World Health Organization (WHO) officially launching its global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem , targeting the period 2020-2030. This is the first time the world has committed to eliminate a cancer. As WHO has observed “Cervical Cancer is a preventable and curable disease as long as it is detected early and managed effectively”.

The Rotary Club of Colombo, in the second phase of its 15 year Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Project, launched its Cervical Cancer Elimination Project in 2019 in partnership with the Ministry of Health . Today, to commemorate the November 2020 WHO formal launch landmark, monuments in the capital, namely Colombo Town Hall and other prominent landmarks will be illuminated in the colour teal to depict cervical cancer awareness. This would be a display of solidarity by Sri Lanka with a historic global commitment to eliminate cervical cancer, and will be showcased globally as part of the WHO event , accompanied by the illumination of iconic monuments in various regions of the world. Today’s launch of the WHO strategy , gives impetus to the far reaching Rotary initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Health to fight cervical cancer, with the challenging goal of eliminating cervical cancer as a public health problem by 2030,

While local and global events , primarily the Covid-19 pandemic, delayed the launch of this life saving project , it is now targeted for early 2021 with the installation and commissioning of advanced technology HPV DNA screening equipment for early detection of cervical cancer , located regionally to reach out to areas with low coverage. This would be simultaneously accompanied by relevant capacity building of healthcare personnel focussing on behavioural change, and publicity campaign to build social awareness. Two buses for mobile screening would also be made available to facilitate greater reach to target high risk groups in the interior areas. This major project is funded with a global grant from The Rotary Foundation together with a number of Rotary Clubs across the world , and project partner Rotary Club of Birmingham ,Al, USA.

The strategy adopted by WHO in 2020 is reflected in the approach taken by the Ministry of Health Sri Lanka in partnership with Rotary, of targeting elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem through 3 main pillars-Prevention through HPV vaccination , which will be taken on by the Ministry of Health, and which offers long term protection against cervical cancer. Rotary’s involvement would be in the facilitation of screening and early detection of cervical cancer in the 35 and 45 year old females, thus enabling early detection and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions which would prevent a pre cancer developing into a cancer. The third pillar would be the treatment for those diagnosed with invasive cancer , which could save those lives, while palliative care would address the pain and suffering and aim at mitigating this. Rotary’s ongoing partnership of over 15 years with National Cancer Control Programme of the Ministry of Health , focussing on screening and early detection and prevention of breast cancer and cervical cancer , motivated Rotary, with this long experience, to come forward, and focus on cervical cancer – being preventable , and curable if detected early and treated.

The WHO strategy targets 90% of girls to be fully vaccinated with the HPV vaccine before the age of 15 years, with a target of 70% of women being screened using a high performance test at 35 years and again at 45 years , and 90% of women identified with cervical cancer to receive treatment(both pre cancer and invasive cancer). In this respect Sri Lanka is on the right path with the HPV vaccination of 10 year old girls already close to the target. The well structured healthcare system in Sri Lanka effectively facilitates reaching the target group for screening and early detection of cervical cancer , which, with the support from Rotary, would address the present low coverage, and target an increase upto 70-80% coverage. With results being measurable and monitoring and evaluation systems being upgraded , including population based cancer registries , such a focussed strategy spearheaded by the Govt of Sri Lanka in partnership with Rotary, would make elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem an achievable goal.

WHO states in its communique launching its strategy , ” Cervical cancer stands as one of the world’s greatest failures, but through strong action and aligned intervention, elimination is within reach for all countries. The technology and tools exist to prevent this disease , along with proven measures for early diagnosis and treatment”.

Rotary, in partnership with the Ministry of Health is focussed on this challenging and lifesaving goal which will be a historic milestone in disease prevention. In the words of WHO Director General, “We can eliminate cervical cancer and make it a disease of the past”.



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HNB Finance inks partnership with HNB Assurance



Sri Lanka’s leading integrated financial services provider, HNB Finance PLC, has entered into an exclusive partnership with HNB Assurance PLC, making it significantly easier and faster for HNB Finance customers to obtain insurances required for most of the offerings from the company.A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed recently by the two companies enables HNB Finance customers to obtain the insurances they require for personal and other offerings from the company, without even having to leave the premises of HNB Finance. Since representatives of HNB Assurance will now be stationed at the offices of HNB Finance, the process of obtaining the necessary insurance policies will be both more convenient and faster, further enhancing the overall customer experience.

“HNB Finance constantly strives to elevate our customer experience, particularly via partnerships with reputed organisations of the calibre of HNB Assurance,” HNB Finance PLC Managing Director/CEO Chaminda Prabhath said. “This also serves as an example of the synergies and strengths that HNB Finance benefit from, by being part of one of Sri Lanka’s largest financial services conglomerates, the HNB Group.”

“We take pleasure in this partnership with another member of the HNB Group and in offering the customers of HNB Finance the highly customer-centric offering of HNB Assurance,” HNB Assurance PLC CEO Lasitha Wimalaratne said. “Superlative customer experience has always been a core pillar of our strategy and HNB Finance customers can now benefit from these capabilities.”

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Mega training programme in SL in ICT related skills by Trainocate



By Hiran H.Senewiratne

Trainocate, being Asia’s largest IT and human capability development training provider, in a bid to create demand for future ICT related employees will be commencing a mega training program in Sri Lanka targeting youth and corporates.

“With the rapid advancements in digitalization and digital services driven by AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber security and 5G, old paradigms and business models are being challenged. More organizations across sectors are now required to have an online-offline presence and operations, Trainocate’s CEO, South East Asia New Markets and the UAE Zafarullah Hashim told The Island Financial Review.

Zafarullah added: ‘According to a recent World Economic Forum report, by 2022, close to 30 per cent of new job opportunities globally will be in data, artificial intelligence (AI), engineering and cloud computing for the future Digital Economy.

‘The pace of change over the past few years has been accelerated by the diffusion of technology, speed of innovation and rapidly evolving business needs. Jobs have changed and new ones have emerged and replaced existing ones. In tandem with this, the required skills and competencies have also rapidly evolved.

‘Many South Asian countries’ corporates as well as current employees and youth aspiring for employment are not reading this.

‘With a global presence in 15 countries, Trainocate SEANM, a pioneer in delivering cutting edge training and certifications which are industry recognized, will commence helping beginners and professionals to expedite their career advancement through our centers.

‘Trainocate also works with key government and private stakeholders to ensure that beginners and professionals have access to high quality and industry-specific training that meets the demands of different sectors of the economy for an innovative and productive workforce.

‘Knowing which skills are in demand has never been more important. With evolving consumer demands and disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we function as the bridge between vendors, such as Microsoft, AWS, Google Cloud, and the partner. We are also the bridge between the partner and customers. We do partner enablement programs for partners through the vendors and then from the partner to the customer. A partner has to commit to the vision and the goals of a vendor. You also need to have product knowledge and become certified, which is where we come in.

‘Microsoft has been our main force and we have been providing free fundamental training sessions, as we believe that primary knowledge is key in building the country’s digital transformation journey. Our business operation is carried out between business to business, business to government and business to customers as well.

‘Digital skills are increasingly transferable across different sectors, as more enterprises embark on digital transformation and technology adoption. The Digital Economy entails different types of skills, depending on their job role applications. Tech-Lite roles are job roles that involve the use of foundational digital solutions at work; while Tech-Heavy roles are specialized roles responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of more complex technological solutions and applications.

‘Trainocate SEANM focuses on developing skills, competency, ability and improving employee performances and organizational productivity. Organizations spend millions in acquiring and upgrading systems or hardware and give truly little thought to the training process. As a result, a vast majority of companies do not make maximum use of the features and benefits of the software in which they have invested. Proper training will increase productivity and reduce downtime which will complete IT projects faster.

‘Traincoate SEANM is rapidly reaching new heights by helping organizations that are going through a tough time and are in the transitioning period towards technology. Trainocate SEANM delivers well-informed and stable individuals who can provide their expertise towards the rise of these businesses. We have trained many blue-chip companies, along with their partners. Our goal is to develop individuals in tools that are already available that they don’t know how to use.

“Trainocate SEANM offers a range of resources, tools, certification and training programs and initiatives to help individuals and organizations identify and acquire the necessary skills to facilitate employment, improve job performance and adapt to job content changes in the midst of technological advancements and business operating model shifts.

‘We are not just a training company, but rather, a guidance company. We have been doing this for 25 plus years and have assessment tools that help us analyze and identify any skill gaps within organizations. We can use this to help the organizations’ HR and L&D teams streamline their training methods, as we can help identify these gaps and guide them on what they need the most.

‘Overall the company is helping organizations to think differently, plan strategically, save money and get the best out of technology. That is our secret to success.’

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Sunshine Healthcare appoints T. Sayandhan as CEO



Sunshine Healthcare has appointed T. Sayandhan as the Chief Executive Officer of Lina Manufacturing, the pharmaceutical manufacturing segment of the diversified company. Sayandhan, currently CEO of Sunshine Medical Devices, has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. He joined Sunshine Healthcare in 2017 to spearhead Sunshine Medical Devices and has been instrumental in growing the healthcare business to be the key driver of the Group’s financial performance, helping Sunshine Healthcare to sustain its growth over the few years amidst tough macroeconomic conditions.

Commenting on the new appointment, Sunshine Healthcare Managing Director Shyam Sathasivam said, “As a responsible Sri Lankan conglomerate, we believe the local production of pharmaceuticals plays a vital role in maintaining the resilience of national healthcare systems. When escalating macroeconomic conditions are putting immense pressure on the local healthcare sector, producing pharmaceuticals locally will facilitate access to needed medicines and decrease exposure to imports and international supply chains. At this critical juncture, I believe Sayandhan has demonstrated the right combination of talent and drive to step into this key leadership role at the company.”

Commenting on his appointment, Sayandhan said, “It is a challenging yet exciting time to join Lina Manufacturing when the company is advancing its efforts to develop Sri Lankan-made, innovative healthcare solutions.”

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