The Inauguration Ceremony of the 19th Annual Academic Congress of the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians was held on the 11th of August 2016 at the Grand Ballroom, Galle Face Hotel, Colombo. The Chief Guest was His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka, Hon. Maithripala Sirisena. The Guest of Honour was Prof Neena Modi, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, UK and the Special Guest was Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine. A large number of Paediatricians, special invitees and dignitaries were present on this grand occasion.

Dr Ramya de Silva, President of the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians in her welcome address said that she was very happy that she was able to deliver all the promises she had made as the President of the College and help uplift the well-being of the children of our country. She also emphasized the theme for the year which was “Realising the future we want for all our children’’. She welcomed all the foreign speakers and delegates and thanked them for taking time off their busy schedules to come to Sri Lanka to share their knowledge and expertise.

An Honourary fellowship was awarded to Dr Amit Gupta, Neonatal Consultant, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford for the services he has rendered to establish the National Neonatal transport service and for the initiation of the Oxford-Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians Fellowship. Consultant Paediatricians Dr Shrinika Kularatne and Professor Asiri Abeyagunawardena were also awarded fellowships for the services they have rendered.

The Professor  C.C de Silva Memorial oration was delivered by Dr Sachith Methananda, Consultant Paediatrician on “Thalassaemia: in a quest towards an ultimate cure.”

This was followed by cocktails and fellowship. It was a wonderful opening to the Annual Academic Congress of the College which was held from the 12th to the 14th of August 2016 at Galle Face Hotel.