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September 22, 2017

The Sri Lankan Medical and Dental Association in the UK
celebrates its 35th year

alternate textThe Autumn Charity Ball 2016. London
Dr Mahendra Gonsalkorale. Editor

The SLMDA is the oldest Sri Lankan Professional Association in the UK and was formed in1982. It was then called the Sri Lanka Doctors Association and the original aims were to help Sri Lankan Medical Schools and to create a forum for Sri Lankan doctors to exchange academic ideas and social pleasantries. There were many doctors involved but the prime.

movers were Dr Jeeva and Seetha Siriwardea. It subsequently included Dentists and became the SLMDA. The association has grown from strength to strength and now has a membership of over 300 doctors and dentists. The SLMDA provided educational and financial support for Sri Lankan Medical and Dental institutions in many ways and these included book donation schemes, bursary schemes, research schemes, supporting post graduate students who come to Sri Lanka and providing disaster relief as for example, at the time of the Tsunami and the more recent floods when we stepped in and provided funds to the Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan to rebuild the badly affected Gamini Vidyalya in Kelaniya.

alternate textCharity Concert March 2017. Essex
The scope of support (see box) has now widened considerably and recent special projects funded by the SLMDA include (a) providing funding to purchase computers for the e-learning project at the Faculty of Dental Sciences, (b) Funding of two water purification plants to supply safe drinking water to the medical students at Rajarata University, who are at risk of developing CKD, (c) Co-sponsored an extension to the student canteen at the Jaffna Medical Faculty, and (d), an investment of £10,000 for establishing the concept of "Green campuses" in Sri Lanka commencing at the Rajarata campus. Many of these projects have been spawned through direct contact and collaboration with colleagues in Sri Lanka which enabled us to provide optimum support with maximum impact.

alternate textDr Ruwan De Soysa
President SLMDA
The SLMDA is a non-profit Charitable organisation with no political affiliations and the funds required for supporting these projects are raised entirely through its own fund raising activities which include Charity Balls, Raffles, Cultural events, Academic meetings and annual Membership fees.

"Over the past few years, we have refocused our activities from individuals to Universities. While continuing bursaries to needy medical students, we have been tackling wider issues such as providing cleaner water to students and introducing the concept of 'Green Campus' to Medical Colleges in Sri Lanka. All these projects were undertaken on request by our Sri Lankan counterparts", Dr Ruwan De Soysa, President SLMDA

The SLMDA has successfully adapted to changing demand and in membership characteristics, and will continue to do so in the coming years. This year we proudly celebrate our 35th Anniversary at the Charity Ball on the 30th of September at The Carden Park Hotel in Chester.

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