ICRC to help Sri Lanka manage human remains more efficiently

This is an important and much needed initiative that will help further improve the medico-legal system in Sri Lanka, thus contributing to a technically and humanely better prepared public health and preventive approach towards the management and identification of the dead.This to be applicable not only to ‘single events’ but also to large scale or complex circumstances, like natural disasters, death related to migration, conflict and post conflict. (Colombo Gazette) With this in mind, in 2016, Chief JMO and Head of the IFMT Dr Ajith Tennakoon and the ICRC jointly developed the pilot project on Minimum Quality Assurance to be implemented at the IFMT. “Mortuaries are therefore at the center of the investigation of deaths, especially when they involve autopsy.Hence, the goal of this Agreement and project in your country, to implement a quality assurance program at the IFMT, which aims to improve mortuary operations in general, through the standardization and centralization of procedures and through the training of non-medical staff”. Head of Delegation of the ICRC Gerard Peytrignet said some of the fundamental goals of the medico legal systems world-wide are, as we all know, to ensure proper management and identification of the dead and hopefully answer core questions such as the ‘who’, the ‘when’, the ‘why’ and the ‘how’. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Ministry of Health signed a Letter of Agreement today to provide better medico legal services in the country.The Agreement is the first step to contribute to improving the working conditions and standardizing procedures by adhering to internationally recognized ‘best practices’. The aims of the project include improved management of forensic data as well as managing human remains more efficiently and effectively in mortuaries in Sri Lanka, with the Institute of Forensic Medicine and Technology (IFMT) serving as the reference mortuary.

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