Monday, 19 January 2004  
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Prof. Ravindra Fernando, new SLMA president

by Sarath Malalasekera

Professor Ravindra Fernando was inducted as President of the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) at a ceremony held at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo on Friday.

The Sri Lanka Medical Association was established in 1887 as the "Ceylon Branch of the British Medical Association" is the oldest medical professional association in Australasia.

Prof. Fernando who holds the degrees of MBBS, MD, FCCP, FCCGP, FRCP (London), FRCP (Glasgow), FRCP (Edinburgh), FRCPath (UK) and DMJ (London) is the professor of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology of the University of Colombo.

He is also the head of the National Poisons Information Centre, National Hospital of Sri Lanka, the Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights of the University of Colombo and the Chairman of the National Dangerous Drugs Control Board.

Prof. Fernando had his Pre-university education at Ananda College, Colombo. He entered the University of Colombo in 1971 and obtained an MBBS with second class honours in 1975. After completing his internship in the General Hospital, Colombo he joined the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo two years later.

He received a Commonwealth Scholarship to have his postgraduate training at the prestigious Guy's Hospital Medical School (University of London) in Forensic Medicine and general Medicine.

Prof. Fernando later worked as a Consultant Forensic Pathologist, Senior Lecturer in the University of London and Glasgow. He was also a Home Office Pathologist for England and Wales and crown Office Pathologist for Scotland.

Prof. Fernando has participated in many international seminars and presented scientific papers. His scientific articles have appeared in many scientific journals and books. He has published books on poisoning, medical negligence, impunity and inquests.

The first Poisons Information Centre in Sri Lanka, first in the South-East Asia was established by the Prof. Fernando in 1988 to provide information on all aspects of poisoning to the medical profession and the general public.

He has been associated with the INTOX program of the International Programme of Chemical Safety (ILO-UNEP-WHO) to prepare a computerized database on poisons, since its inception in 1988. he is a member of the WHO expert group on "Vector Biology and Control."

Considering Prof. Fernando's services in the field of toxicology, he was appointed the Regional Secretary for Asia in the "World Federation of Associations of Clinical Toxicology and Poison in Control Centres," in 1990.

Prof. Fernando has received the Sri Lanka Jaycees "Outstanding Young Persons Award for Social Medicine" in 1987 and the Lions "Most Outstanding Citizen's Award for Medicine and Health Care," in 1998.

He recently received an Award of Excellence "For the efforts in prevention of drug abuse and support to NGOs in Sri Lanka," at the 20th International Federation of Non-Governmental Organisations for the Prevention of Drugs and Substance Abuse (IFNGO) held in Colombo.

Prof. Fernando has been a visiting Professor of Forensic Medicine, University of Manitoba, Canada and a visiting External Examiner of Forensic Pathology, University of Malays.

He was the nominee of the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka to the "United Nations Expert Group on Exhumations and Missing Persons in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina."

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