History

Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians is the successor to the former Ceylon Paediatric Association which later became the Sri Lanka Paediatric Association. The original Ceylon Paediatric Association was inaugurated in 1952 with Dr. L.O. Abeyratne as the first President, Professor C.C. de Silva as the Vice-President and Professor Milroy Paul as the Hony. Secretary.

Although the few qualified Paediatricians were in its roll, the backbone of the Association was formed by General Practitioners who were then responsible for the health care of children. They enjoyed the confidence and trust of mothers. In those halcyon days, love and kind words were more important to mothers than academic knowledge. The Association held Monthly Meetings, Clinical Demonstrations and embarked on a variety of Educational Programmes. The first Annual Congress of Paediatrics in Ceylon (later Sri Lanka), was held in 1961 with Dr. Martin Bodian of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, UK, as Guest Lecturer. Dr. Sydney Gellis of Boston, USA, was the Guest Lecturer in 1962. The British Council and the American Embassy respectively sponsored these lecturers.

In the logo of the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians, the silhouette of a child is encircled by twenty-four lotus petals representing round-the-clock care and services available towards the welfare of our children, the national treasure of this land. The traditional earthenware pot, the “pun kalasa”, on which the main emblem rests, together with sheaves of coconut flowers surrounding it, depict prosperity and reiterate that children are the precious jewels of this resplendent isle.

The College is closely involved in Continuing Medical Education and Research. It conducts monthly Clinical Lecture Demonstrations in Paediatrics and many Provincial Meetings right throughout the year. The Annual Scientific Congress is usually held in the middle of the year and is a forum for the presentation of Paediatric Research in the country. It is also attended by eminent speakers from all over the world, usually by invitation. The records of the Congress are printed as “Proceedings of the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians Annual Scientific Congress” (ISSN 1391-2992). The official publication of the College is the “Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health” (ISSN 1391-5452) which is published quarterly. The College is also closely linked to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children in Colombo, the largest Children’s Hospital in the world, and the Board of Study in Paediatrics of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine of the University of Colombo, which regulates the training and certification of Specialist Consultant Paediatricians in the country.