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The Lama Piyasa –A place where abuse ends and healing begins
One it was felt that one of the issues in dealing with victims of child abuse and neglect in health institutions was the issue of confidentiality and sensitive management of the victims and the families. At present the victims are admitted to different wards in health institutions. Some pregnant teenagers are admitted to Gynaecology wards as they cannot be admitted to paediatric wards. This leads to several issues for the children as they are housed in adult wards.

During the formulation of the guideline, it was felt that there was a need for a facility to admit all child victims (0-18 years), until their immediate needs are sorted out and for planning further management.  The Ministry of Health accepted the concept of ‘Safe Houses’ in Health Institutions throughout the country. As part of the project Creating Safe Communities for children the Sri Lanka College of Paediaticians and Plan Sri Lanka together with the Director of the North Colombo Teaching Hospital designed a Safe House –
‘Lama Piyasa.’

Approval for the project was obtained from the Ministry of Health and the foundation laying ceremony was held on 27 November 2013, at the Ragama Rehabilitation Hospital. 

There are two sections in this facility of child victims -  A ward for in-house management and a video recording unit. The video recording unit will ensure that the evidence of the child victims admitted to the Lama Piyasa would be recorded for the purpose of submitting to courts. This will reduce the traumatization of the child victims in courts.

The Attorney General’s Department has inspected the unit during the process of building and suggestions made were incorporated. The National Child Protection Authority has consented to partner with the consultants of the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama in the to ensure the proper functioning of this unit The ‘Lama Piyasa’ is now completed and will be ceremonially opened on 9 March 2015.    

Prof. Asvini D Fernando
Child Protection Committee
Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians

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Creating Safe Communities for Children
Wijerama house, No 06, Wijerama Mawatha,
colombo 07, Sri lanka
Tel : +94 112 960101
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