Cancer Hospital, Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka, frequently described as the ‘pearl of the Indian Ocean,’ is home to some 20 million people of a variety of ethnicities and faiths. Since the end of the civil war in 2009 and with the support of the international community, the country has undergone major development. Despite having comparatively good health outcomes, particularly in maternal and child health, Sri Lanka has witnessed a rise in non-infectious diseases, including cancer. Sadly, funds available to the public sector are limited, and cancer care services are often inadequate.
Maharagama, Colombo Sri Lanka
Start Date
End date
Program Impact

Number of people? 40,000 patients annually; over 1000 staff


Ahmad Tea

Sustainability governs each process in all our capacity building projects.

Sustainability governs all of our capacity building projects.

For us, ensuring continuity of use and service is especially important for major hospital projects, aimed at improving care services for their local population.

Our model of working not only applies to individuals, but to organisations and communities. Through our development project at a major cancer hospital in Sri Lanka, we have shown that investments in the education of employees, improvements to the working environment, and the support of enterprising new initiatives can create lasting sustainable solutions.

Our program in Sri Lanka focuses on education, health and enterprise to sustain a high quality hospital environment and a wealth of resources, whilst promoting a sense of citizenship for all those involved in tackling the impact of cancer in Sri Lanka.

Focus on Health



Hospital acquired infection was a big issue for the medical facility. To solve the problem, we introduced a hospital quality secretariat and implemented the “5S” technique to remove waste from the work environment through a hygiene management system. These initiatives have considerably reduced rates of infection acquired on-site.



The hospital had no proper way to dispose of biological waste, creating a dangerous hazard to the health of staff, patients and visitors. We helped the hospital become a national leader in proper waste management through working with national and international partnerships to commission a centralised incinerator and improve waste management.



We focused on creating a healthy living environment for the patients. To that effect, a new seven storey medical complex is in construction, which will reduce the serious overcrowding and replace old delipidated buildings. Among the facilities, there will be new laboratories, a surgical complex, a chemotherapy day centre and pharmacies.

Focus on Education

In order to help nurses become educated on the important aspects of oncology care, we facilitated an oncology nurse training program. This course not only covered radiotherapy, chemotherapy and palliative care, but also provided learning to the trainers themselves.

Another aim was to train all employees on the processes they need to maintain exceptional care. To that end, we have also implemented an ongoing quality assurance training program..

Focus on Enterprise

Managing patient data is a huge part of running a hospital efficiently. We partnered with enterprising health informatic consultants and developers from local universities to create custom-built software for patient record keeping. This novel approach will now act as a blueprint for hospitals all over the country.

Focus on Wealth


Creating wealth is not just about financial gain. By working with a public hospital, we have shown that improving skill sets and knowledge sharing, creates a wealth of benefits in the community it serves.

Focus on Citizenship


The cancer hospital is home to some 800 patients at any given time. Many will remain for months or even longer, forming bonds of friendship with other patients and staff. It is in this togetherness that the hospital community thrives. And with the collective efforts to improve quality of care, there is a renewed sense of rapport at the hospital.

Focus on Environment


By focusing on creating a healthy living environment for the patients, and improving the quality of care, both patients and staff report greater satisfaction. Such changes are reflected in a positive outlook and gratitude for the hospital environment.

Sustainable Outcomes

Our hospital development programs are planned with long term objectives in mind. For the cancer hospital, we use a sector wide approach, partnering with the local Ministry of Health as well as private sector philanthropists from an international tea business, Ahmad Tea. By drawing upon local knowledge, working closely with key stakeholders, and empowering individuals, we have shown that a community-led approach to development produces better results.