The director – Prof. Christopher Beyrer and the deputy director- Prof. Wendy O’Meara visited Sri Lanka in an effort to strengthen the partnership between the Duke Global Health Institute, USA and the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna,Sri Lanka during the first week of November 2023.
A special event to welcome the guests had been organized at the faculty premises which the Vice Chancellor, University of Ruhuna – Senior Prof Sujeewa Amarasena and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine – Prof. Thilak Weerarathne along with a majority of the academic staff of the Faculty participated. Events started with lighting of the traditional oil lamp followed by the welcome speeches by the vice chancellor and the Dean. Several talks regarding the history of the collaboration, ongoing research activities and the future plans were delivered by Prof. C. K . Bodinayake, Prof. Ajith de Silva Nagahawatte, Prof. Christopher Woods, Prof. Gayani Tillekeratne, Prof. Vijitha de Silva and Prof. Bilesha Perera.
Prof. Chris Beyrer and Prof. Wendy O’Meara made remarks on how satisfied they were with the progress of the collaborative research work and the strength of the partnership, as well as on the opportunities and current initiatives of the DGHI. Then a visit was made to the Molecular Biology laboratory and the Microbiology laboratory where the laboratory testing for collaborative research activities is conducted. Finally they met with the Duke-Ruhuna office staff.
The following day’s events started with a visit to the Teaching Hospital Karapitiya led by Prof. Bodinayake and Prof. Tillekeratne. An enthusiastic discussion of the novel ideas/proposals of the current collaborators and the members who showed interest in joining the collaboration with the intention of starting new projects was then held at the faculty.
Events concluded with a wonderful celebration of the 17 years of partnership between the institutes.