r Ministry of Defence - Sri Lanka

Annual Academic Session of SLCOMM held

March 24, 2019

The inaugural programme of the third annual academic session of the Sri Lanka College of Military Medicine (SLCOMM) commenced at the Eagles' Lakeside Banquet and Convention Hall, Attidiya on Friday (22 March 2019). The event was held under the patronage of the State Minister of Defence Hon. Ruwan Wijewardene.

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Mr. Hemasiri Fernando attended the event as a special guest of honour.

The annual session was held under the theme "Military Medicine- Looking Ahead: Enhancing Military-Civilian Medical Synergies". Sessions will continue for two days during the weekend (23rd and 24th March 2019). Thirty-two (32) foreign and local speakers will share their knowledge under the themes of Combat Casualty Care, Under Water Medicine, Aviation Medicine, Women and Child and the Military, Acute Care Medicine, Amputation and Prosthesis, Medicine- Dentistry Synergy: For a Better Outcome, Diet and Obesity and Sports Medicine.

The opening remarks were made State Minister Wijewardene. The Key Note Speech was delivered by the Secretary General of International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM), Major General (Retd) Dr. Roger Van Hoof (MD).

Speaking at the opening ceremony the State Minister said that the sessions will raise the standards of professionalism of military medicine. Military medicine has a long history and battlefield medical care has helped in the development of medical sector, he said.

During the conflict in the country, medical personnel had carried out their services often putting their lives at risk. Military medicine has added much to the progress of the mainstream medicine. It is a sub-specialty and invested adequately to build the capabilities of military medical practitioners as these investments will pay off in better treatment not only for soldiers but civilians as well, he added.

He further said that the division between military and civilian medical care is artificial and spurious. Progress in military medicine not only applies to the treatment of individuals but also to the organization in better delivery of medical care. In responding to modern security challenges today, military medical practitioners lead from the front and are experts in areas such as bio-terrorism, control of pandemics; humanitarian aid in natural disasters as well as man-made disasters of radiological or chemical contamination.

Stressing the role played by military medical corps, he said that they are the first responders for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief anywhere and recalled their role during the 2004 Tsunami and post disaster relief work. He also praised the work of military medical and dental personnel serving in various United Nations Peace keeping missions throughout the world risking their own lives for the sake of greater good of the humanity.

Speaking at the event Secretary Fernando said that, the session is being conducted at an appropriate juncture and augurs well at a time the Sri Lankan Military forces are in the forefront in many sectors in the development of the country.

He said that battlefield medicine should evolve in line with the development of sophisticated weaponry and that the contribution of medical personnel towards that gigantic task is appreciated very much through dialogues of this nature. We have experienced a war for nearly 30 years in our own country and we have firsthand experience in every aspect of military and dental medicine during those dark years and also the nation remembers with gratitude the services of those medical personnel, he added.

He further said, there will be no more wars in our country and now the military forces have a wider participation in the development of the country. The area of medical facilities and provision of medicines would not only heal people but also bring all communities and military forces closer together thus building trust among societies for the betterment of the country, never to look back on any communal differences, ever again, he added.

Commanders of the Tri Forces, senior military officers, members of the diplomatic corps and distinguished scholars were also present at the occasion.