Saukya means health in Sinhala. Initiated by Assoc Prof Thum Kum Ying in 2014 and spearheaded by a team of passionate seniors, our project focuses on the issue of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Aetiology (CKDu) in the villages of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Together with students and staff from the Department of Health Promotion, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, we visit the villages yearly to collect data and conduct interventions centred around health promotion.
In contrast to the top-down health campaigns commonly prescribed in Singapore, health promotion in Sri Lanka encourages citizens to lead healthier lifestyles via a bottom-up approach that is community-based, empowering, sustainable, and cost-effective.
In previous trips, students visited the villages of Karapikkada and Katu Wela under the guidance of Dr Claire Canning. We gained a better understanding of the psychosocial well-being of the community and conducted biomedical health fairs focusing on the symptoms and simple pathophysiology of CKDu. We also conducted community discussions that aim to encourage villagers to think of feasible ways to address CKDu in their community.
Moving forward, we will be improving on the scope of our biomedical health fairs by including co-morbidities associated with CKDu. We also intend to focus on data collection via renal screenings and setting up a renal registries to streamline future interventions.
Rajarata University of Sri Lanka