Oxygen Supply System For Two Covid-19 Wards At Hambantota District General Hospital By IESL Engineers

By Building Services Engineering Sectional Committee and Mechanical Engineering Sectional Committee

Covid-19 pandemic is one of the hardest medical challenges that world has faced in the modern era. The ability of this coronavirus to adopt its’ brutality, based on the region of the world and becoming mutant is the most challenging behavior of this virus.

Sri Lanka being exposed to several newer and dangerous variants of coronavirus had seen the numbers of patients are rising at alarming rate and challenging the medical infrastructure at all parts of the country. The engineers at the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) who came forward during the first and second waves of the pandemic to support the health care workforce, this time too determined to contribute with their expertise and efforts.

They have been looking out for opportunities to help the health authorizes at the very best of their capacity. Meanwhile the Mechanical Engineering Sectional Committee (MESC) of IESL had received a request from the District General Hospital Hambantota, describing their dare status of not being able to supply oxygen to save the lives of the Covid-19 patients at their wards and need for establishment of oxygen supply system at the facility. MESC had verified the ground information of the hospital and request the help of Building Services Engineering Sectional Committee (BSESC) in working this project as a joint project. Both MESC and BSESC engineers who were the pioneers in the battle against Covid-19 in its first two waves took the lead in this noble national level exercise.

The two sectional committees with the guidance of the President and the President Elect of IESL had appointed a joint working committee to execute the project with the approval and support of the IESL. The project scope is to provide wall oxygen supply for thirty (30) beds in two existing medical wards to convert those to Covid-19 wards.

After a series of discussions with the Director of the DGH Hambantota and other senior medical officers at the site and on online mode, the team of engineers evaluated the technical and financial aspects of the proposed design. The total budget for the project is Rs.1,750,000.00. The project was initiated with the funding sourced by the annual budget allocations for two sectional committees. The IESL has sent an open invitation to all its members requesting voluntary contributions to fill the deficits. The two sectional committees were able to reach the financial milestone of finding adequate funds for the execution of the project within 10 days of initiation thanks to the generous members of the IESL and few independent sponsors.

With the coordination of the hospital administration the first ward was released for the installation of the oxygen supply system after shifting the Covid-19 patients temporarily to another ward and disinfecting the ward. Team of engineers of IESL had directly supervised the installation work continuously and managed to complete the oxygen supply system in compliance with relevant medical gas distribution standard and tested the system including flow measurements in four days. The completed ward is now in operation and fifteen covid patients with breathing difficulties can be treated successfully in the same ward.

Hospital is expected to release the second ward for the installation of oxygen supply system by 9th June 2021 and scheduled to be completed and handover for acceptance of patients by 15th June 2021. With the completion of the second ward IESL will be able to make another great contribution to the nation to fight against the Covid-19.

IESL extends its heartiest gratitude to its members and Api Foundation for their generous financial contributions and sponsorships which made this project a success.

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