Congenital heart disease is one of the biggest killers of children under five years old in Sri Lanka. Tackling this critical issue is key to reducing the infant mortality rate in the country.
Around 2,500-3,000 children are born with congenital heart diseases every year, and most of them need either surgical or catheter based treatment within the first year of their life.
Unless there is timely treatment, some of them do not live to see their first birthday and most of them will die before they reach adulthood, said the Project Chairman of Rotary, Sushena Ranatunga.
To address this critical issue, the Rotary Foundation and Rotary Sri Lanka raised over USD 400,000 to set up the first-ever Human Heart Valve Bank at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH), said Governor Rotarian Gowri Rajan, who initiated the project with the support of the then Rotary Global President, K. Ravindran, a Sri Lankan.
The facility is now ready at Lady Ridgeway and the Rotary International President 2017/18, Ian Riseley and Govenor Rotary Sri Lanka, Dr. Ven. Bandagiriya Somawansa Thera will officially hand over the Human Heart Valve Bank to Health Minister, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne and Secretary Janaka Sugathadasa in the presence of the pediatrician community of Sri Lanka and senior officials of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital.
Riseley is a chartered accountant and principal of Ian Riseley and Co., a firm he established in 1976. Prior to starting his own firm, he worked in the audit and management consulting divisions of large accounting firms and corporations. His firm specializes in income tax and management advice for individuals and small businesses. He holds a Masters Degree in Taxation Law and Graduate Diplomas in Accounting and Income Tax.
Riseley has been a member on the boards of both a private and a public school, a member of the Community Advisory Group for the City of Sandringham, and involved in Sea Scouts and sporting groups, as well as honorary auditor/ adviser to many charitable organizations.
Riseley’s honors include the AusAID Peacebuilder Award from the Australian government in recognition of his work in East Timor, the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the Australian community, the Distinguished Service Award and the Regional Service Award for a Polio-Free World from The Rotary Foundation.
A Rotarian since 1978, he has served as treasurer, director, Foundation trustee, and member and chair of numerous RI and Foundation committees. He and his wife, Juliet, a past district governor, are Major Donors and Bequest Society members of The Rotary Foundation.
They live on seven hectares at Moorooduc, where they practice their personal philosophy of sustainable and organic living. They have two children and four grandchildren, said Rotary PR Chairman, Dr. Rohantha Athukorala.
The Global President and First Lady Juliet will be the chief guest at the Black Tie Charity Dinner at Shangri-La, Colombo a total sold out event, with all proceeds channelled for charity. Former Sri Lanka Cricket Captain, Kumar Sangakkara will also attend the event, said Krish Rajendran, Past District Govenor and Project Chairman of the RI President’s visit.