SLMA to celebrate 125th anniversary with ‘Walk for a Healthier Tomorrow’ and Int. Medical Congress

Monday, 25 June 2012 01:55 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), the national professional medical association in Sri Lanka, will celebrate its 125th Anniversary on the 1 July. In celebration, the association will be organising a Walk and Run for 1500 people on the day, under the tagline ‘Walk for a Healthier Tomorrow.’

The Run will commence at 6:30am at the BMICH in Colombo and will see the participation of over 1500 attendees including doctors and pre-registered participants. The event is being promoted by George Stuart & Company and sponsors include Unilever, Etisalat and Lanka Hospitals.

Speaking about the walk the Secretary of the SLMA and Convener of the Walk and Run Dr. Lasantha Malavige said, “Today, we in Sri Lanka are experiencing a world of new challenges owing to the changes in our economic and social fabric. We tend work long hours, eat unhealthy food and have very little time for ourselves and the family let alone having sufficient time for exercise. As the apex body of the medical profession, Sri Lanka Medical Association feels that it is our responsibility to step in and find remedial measures to this unhealthy trend of events. Towards realising this goal, we are particularly keen to join hands with colleagues from different specialties and other sectors to promote active life style for healthier tomorrow.”

Members of the public who wish to participate at this event can do so by registering with the SLMA before 29 June by calling 0113100845.

The Walk and Run would be followed by an International Medical Congress from 2 to 6 July with the participation of Sri Lankan doctors from around the world.  The Congress, titled ‘Global Forum of Sri Lankan doctors,’ would be inaugurated by the Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena on 2 July at the BMICH.

Speaking about the Congress Prof. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake, the President of the SLMA said, “The first day of the congress is aimed at celebrating the achievements of the health sector and looking at future developments. The Presidents of 32 professional medical colleges and associations, representing all specialties and subspecialties in the field of medicine will be speaking in one forum for the first time in Sri Lanka. They will also deliberate on financing the health sector and health sector manpower requirements. This is a unique day for the medical profession.”

 “The second day is devoted to medical research where top medical researchers will present 244 research papers. The third day is devoted to continuing professional development with symposia dealing with a wide range of topics such as infectious disease, respiratory diseases, stroke and rehabilitation, rational use of antibiotics and road traffic accidents to name a few. A special feature of the day will be a complete stream dedicated to creating awareness about creating a healthy working environment. The last day of the conference 6 July is dedicated to advocacy. There are four key symposia on that day. The first one deals with birth defects surveillance – a key need in Sri Lanka’s march to surpass the Millennium Development Goals. The second is on reproductive health dealing with sensitive issues such as abortion, gender based violence, and sexual medicine. The third is on eHealth which is fast becoming essential in the drive to modernise the health sector. The final one is on laboratory accreditation which is an essential need for Sri Lanka.”

The Association, aims to provide a forum for its members to further their professional and academic development and contribute to the development of the health services in Sri Lanka.

The Conferences in Jaffna in January, Galle in February and Kandy in May have galvanised the medical community and doctors from around the country are eagerly looking forward to the 125th Anniversary Celebrations from 1 to 6 July. It is expected to be the largest gathering of Sri Lankan doctors in recent times.