Hemas Holdings appoints Prof. Nilanthi Renuka de Silva to Board

Friday, 21 September 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Hemas Holdings Plc has appointed Prof. Nilanthi Renuka de Silva to the Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director with effect from 1 October 2018.

With the latest appointment, the Board of Hemas Holdings will comprise Chairman Husein Esufally, CEO Steven Enderby, A.N. Esufally, M.A.H. Esufally, I.A.H. Esufally, A.S. Amaratunga, R. Gopalakrishnan, D.S. Weerakkody, S.A.B. Ekanayake, W.M. De F. Arsakularatne, J.M. Trivedi and N. Renuka de Silva.

Prof. de Silva had her primary and secondary education at CMS Ladies’ College, Colombo. She graduated with an MBBS from the University of Colombo in 1986 and went on to obtain a Masters in Medical Parasitology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK and MD and Board Certification in Medical Parasitology from Colombo University’s Postgraduate Institute of Medicine. She was a Commonwealth Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK in 1995/96 and a FAIMER Fellow at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington DC, US in 2004/05.

After a brief stint as a lecturer in Parasitology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya in 1991-93, Prof. de Silva moved to the newly-established Faculty of Medicine of the University of Kelaniya in Ragama in 1993. She has held the cadre chair there since 2003 and is now the Senior Professor of Parasitology. The main focus of her research has been on soil-transmitted helminth infections and other neglected tropical diseases. She has published extensively in this field, in peer-reviewed scientific journals including the Lancet, Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Tropical Medicine and International Health and the Ceylon Medical Journal. 

She has over 5,000 citations of her work on Google Scholar and an h-index of 27.

She is an expert advisor on Neglected Tropical Diseases to the World Health Organization, serving both the WHO Headquarters and the South East Asia Regional Office in many different capacities since 2000. She has served in a similar advisory capacity to other international entities: Children Without Worms at the Task Force for Global Health in Atlanta, USA; the Partnership for Child Development at Imperial College London; and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative in Geneva, Switzerland.

Prof. de Silva has also pursued a longstanding interest in the education of health professionals and quality assurance in Higher Education. She is a member of the Sri Lanka Medical Council and currently serves as its Vice-President. She has worked with the SLMC to develop Standards for Accreditation of Medical Schools in Sri Lanka as well as with the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council of the UGC to develop the Subject Benchmark Statement in Medicine for use in Sri Lankan universities. She was a member of the UGC’s Standing Committee on Medical & Dental Sciences from 2009 to 2018 and is currently a member of the Standing Committee on Quality Assurance. She has supported the PGIM of the University of Colombo as a member of the Board of Study in Microbiology, the Speciality Board in Medical Education and the Board of Management. 

Prof. de Silva was the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya from 2012 to 2018. In this role she worked hard to strengthen the faculty’s capacity for education and training of health professionals who work with persons with disabilities such as Speech and Language Therapists, Audiologists, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. She currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ayati Trust Sri Lanka, a collaborative partnership between the University of Kelaniya, Hema’s Outreach Foundation and MAS Holdings, which aims to establish a national centre of excellence to serve children with disabilities.