Providing first aid for pilgrims in Sri Lanka

During the pilgrimage season to Sri Pada, the Colombo Central Unit of St John Ambulance Sri Lanka set up several first aid and medical camps with the cooperation of teachers from Western Province Education Ministry and nurses from the Colombo National Hospital in late February.

This was to ensure those who were on the pilgrimage felt comfortable and reassured by reducing their aches and pains, and help them during times of accidence and sudden illness.

It takes approximately 5 hours to reach the peak of the sacred mountain by foot and many devotees of different faiths and religions climb up to invoke blessings.

Most people make the climb by night to reach the mountain top to watch the “Ira Sevaya”, the sun rise over the sea. But during this time, it can be dangerous due to heavy crowds especially during the weekend and towards the end of the season.

The team of first aiders consisted of 50 members, 2 medical doctors, 4 nurses, 4 EMT officers, 3 principals and 10 teachers as volunteers.