The mission of the College is to facilitate the advancement of paediatric healthcare in the country, influence policy decisions, support and sustain continuous professional development of child healthcare personnel while promoting collaboration amongst the paediatricians.
Children, who represent 30 per cent of Sri Lanka’s total population, are disproportionately impacted by humanitarian crises and require special care and attention. In the context of such pressing problems, our College had to step out of our main objectives and shoulder more wider social responsibilities related child health.
Sri Lanka is facing one of its worst economic crises in recent decades, and alarming inflation rates. As we all know, we started experiencing a shortage of drugs and consumables since April this year. We did not want any single life of a child to be lost or any child to suffer due to the lack of drugs or consumables. Thus, we commenced the “Medical Donation Programme” and still providing many essential and life saving medicines and consumables to paediatric units, island wide.
The economic crisis has inevitably reduced the purchasing power of vulnerable children and families. Thus, deterioration of our child health indices is expected. As a response to this, the college took this challenge to specifically support the undernourished children with the “Feed a Child” initiative.
I thank the paediatricians and paediatrics subspecialists in this country, who joined hands to mitigate the adverse effects of the economic downturn on sick children, a most laudable commitment indeed.
I’ve had an amazing 2 weeks since taking over from Russell after the AGM on 10 May. So many friends and colleagues have been generous and kind in their welcome. I am thrilled to have the privilege of this role and am looking forward to my 3 years of getting to know many of you. Hopefully together we will achieve some important goals both to benefit all of us, and the children and families we look after.
It is now six months since the financial crisis started affecting us badly, and it’s appropriate for us to look back at what the College has done to uplift lives of children in the country.
We started our essential medicines supply to paediatric units island wide in April 2022. Its a hearculaian task and a perfect example for team work. At present, we are rusning the feed a Child programme which was initiated in the Nuwara Eliya district achieved during this time. We’ve just published our impact report, which captures the work we’ve done together on COVID-19 over the last six months. It’s therefore the right opportunity for me to recognise and thank each of you – and the College teams – for the remarkable work done responding to the pandemic.
Prof. Guwani Liyanage
MBBS, DCH, MD (Paed), MRCPCH (UK)
Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians