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Overview of the Nuclear Medicine Unit

The Nuclear Medicine Unit of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna was officially established in November 1991 with the approval from the University Grants Commission. Subsequently, the radioimmunoassay (RIA) laboratory was re-organized in 1997 as part of a research project titled 'Nuclear techniques in improvement of nutrition and diagnosis'. Following this on an agreement made with the Ministry of Health and the Atomic Energy Authority to provide the reagents and the technical support, the NMU established a radiodiagnostic service on thyroid and reproductive hormones. This service function was started in October 1998, for the inward and out patients of the Southern Province and extended to the patients sent from the private hospitals on clinician's requests.

Since then the NMU is the only public sector immunodiagnostic service provider in the Southern Province. The service function has been further expanded and is provided on 20 different hormones and tumor markers presently. Our main intention is to improve our service function, maintain the reliability results and improve quality of the service upto the international standards. Service on radioiodine therapy will be started in 2008. Southern Regional Network of Screening Newborns for Congenital Hypothyroidism has already been established and it has been planned to screen all newborns of the Southern province by the year 2010. Further, the research culture developed by the Unit will be continued. A post graduate diploma course on Radiation Protection for Medical officers will be designed soon. A fully fledged Nuclear Medicine Imaging Unit is a dream for the Southern Province and our intention is to achieve this goal.