Posts Tagged ‘Sri Lanka’

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka 

Travel Recommendation; Sri Lanka

Ayubowan Readers! “Ayubowan” is the word used in Sri Lanka to greet someone

Sri Lanka is a small Island off the south east tip of the Indian subcontinent. Measuring a total area of 65 610km, it is home to 20.5 million people (2013). Until 1972 the island was known as Ceylon, however still goes by many other names such as “The pearl of the Indian Ocean” and “The teardrop of India”. Colombo is the nation’s commercial and capital city. 

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Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

by Dr Jonathan Barrell, TMA Member Daylesford, Victoria

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia; known until 1972 as Ceylon. Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest.

Sri Lanka has a documented history that spans over 3000 years. Its geographic location and deep harbours made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II. Sri Lanka is a diverse country home to many religions, ethnicities and languages. It is the land of the Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils, Moors, Indian Tamils, Burghers, Malays, Kaffirs and the aboriginal Vedda. Sri Lanka has a rich Buddhist heritage, and the first known Buddhist writings were composed on the island. The country’s recent history has been marred by a thirty-year civil war which decisively but controversially ended in a military victory in 2009.

We visited central and southern Sri Lanka in 2011 for 4 weeks. The people and cuisine and seaside villas such as www.ambalamavilla.com near Galle and www.kadjuhouse.com near Tangalle are fabulous.
Highlights included the tiny tea country mountain village of Ella www.mountainheavensella.com, the very slow train to Nuwara Eliya,, and climbing the rock at Sigiriya just north of Kandy.In Colombo I would recommend  www.gallefacehotel.com  and www.mountlaviniahotel.com, the latter being a fabulous venue for wedding party photo shoots that last for days.Travellers to Sri Lanka do need to seek medical advice about their trip as diseases such as hepatitis A, typhoid, rabies and dengue do occur and are largely preventable click here to find your nearest TMA clinic


Springs Medical Centre

You can give us a call on (03) 5348 2227 or visit our clinic website click here

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Sri Lanka Tour

… Prepared by Dr Robyn Dawson TMA Member Burnie, Tasmania

Here I am sitting poolside somewhere between overheated and hot just from the exertion of walking from the hotel room up through the reception and dining room of this magic old English colonial hotel with a romantic story to keep you on the edge of your seat. I will have to leave you there for another time.

As I look across the inviting pool of Mt Lavinia Hotel to the rolling surf where the Arabian sea meets the Indian Ocean, to the skyline of a bustling city, I give away my location as being in Sri Lanka. With almost three weeks behind me in this land of contrasts I am reluctantly packing to catch the early morning flight to Singapore.

Ones first impressions are that at least 2 things are missing here …

  1. Seagulls which are replaced by a plethora of noisy black ravens, even on the beach, and
  2. Road rules. One sees many and varied modes of transport with “L” plates. I am not sure what they are learning except survival. You can do anything if you have a horn!

We started and ended our time in five star luxury that thrills the wallet, but spent 15 days on an Intrepid tour that covered all the major historic places. These included Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Colombo and Dambulla, each with their fascinating mix of ancient kingdoms, Portuguese, Dutch and English influence. Most of the lodgings were 2 star but clean and acceptable. Cheap tasty meals made up for reduced aesthetics and lack of fluffy white towels.

Just when almost “Templed” out our guide took us trekking through beautiful cool mountain tracks to the tea plantations and cascading waterfalls to stay in an original Managers Bungalow. We were entertained by our guides with local music (one of those special moments in the life of a traveller).

We visited spice gardens; saw a turtle rehabilitation centre; climbed 200m to a citadel in Sigariya; and then spent 2 days at a beach in pounding surf. We learnt to eat without knife and fork and not to roll our eyes when rice and curry where being suggested yet again. I wonder if my new found skill will go down well at home.

Another special occasion was when our guide, and now friend Bruno, took us to a family friend’s home and we all helped to cook a lively meal and learn the differences in curries, and how to make coconut cream and milk. His wife also joined in – we were family now.

Considering some of the off beat places we ate at and the prevalence of many stray mangy dogs and monkeys we were grateful for good advice from our travel doctor before our departure.

So now the thoughts of home and work are fast becoming a reality, we say goodbye. There is still much to explore here and while peace prevails here we promise to return.

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Elephantiasis – Sri Lanka

… Prepared by TMA Member Yeppoon, Qld: Megan Young (medical student)

Travelling to third world countries as part of a medical attachment can be a life changing event with life long learned skills and memorable experiences. This 64 year old gent was happy to share his story with Megan Young, our final year medical student, presently attached to a hospital in Sri Lanka. He has suffered this condition for 22 years. The risk to visiting travellers is quite low.

Lymphatic filariasis, also known as Elephantiasis, is a parasitic nematode infection spread me mosquitoes, in which the worms obstruct the lymphatic system, causing severe chronic lymphoedema. It may result in deformity and cause disability and is associated with social stigma. (WHO)

Aetiology:
Wucheria bancrofti is responsible for around 90% of lymphatic filariasis infections, but Brugia malayi and B. timori may also be the cause. Infection occurs when mosquitoes (Culex, Anopheles and Aedes species) carrying the larvae of filaria bite a human, transferring larvae into the blood. The larvae enter the lymphatic system, where they mature into adult worms, where they form ‘nests’ which obstruct the lymphatic system causing lymphoedema, and, in more severe cases, elephantiasis (where the skin and tissues thicken). This occurs over a period of several years. Lymphoedema may occur in the limbs, genital and breasts. (WHO)

Epidemiology:
Lymphatic filariasis occurs in 83 countries in the tropics of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific and in certain regions of the Caribbean and South America.

Risk for Travellers:
Risk for travellers to endemic areas is low; however, lymphatic filariasis can occur in travellers who stay for extended periods in endemic areas.

Prevention:
There is no vaccination or prophylactic medication for lymphatic filariasis. It must be prevented throughprevention of mosquito bites.

Treatment:
Treatment of lymphatic filariasis is through mass drug administration (MDA) of albendazole 400mg with either ivermectin (150 – 200 mcg/kg) diethelcarbamazine citrate (6mg/kg). Treatment also aims to reduce lymphoedema and prevent secondary infections in the affected limb. (WHO)

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