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Friday, 20 July 2018
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Prof. Harendra de Silva nominated for the BMJ Lifetime Achievment Award PDF Print E-mail
Professor Harendra de Silva, Professor of Pediatrics at the Faculty of Medicine, of Kelaniya University has been shortlisted along with nine other eminent individuals for this year's British Medical Journal Group Lifetime Achievement Award.

The international peer-reviewed medical journal BMJ presents its Group Awards to recognize pioneering individuals and organizations which have made a significant impact on healthcare.

Harendra de Silva is an outstanding pediatrician whose pioneering efforts have helped to create awareness of child abuse in his home country of Sri Lanka and beyond. Professor de Silva is currently professor and head of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Kelaniya, in Sri Lanka.

During the insurgencies he continued to teach and practice medicine in Sri Lanka at a time when many academics left the county. Professor de Silva drafted over 10 laws on child protection in Sri Lanka and he was the founder chairman of Sri Lanka’s National Child Protection Authority (CPA), on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka. In the role of Chairman of CPA, Prof. De Silva had no mercy towards persons who abused children. As he implemented the law without exceptions, no matter whether the violator was a powerful politician, a leading Buddhist Monk, a strong catholic priest or a top businessmen, Prof. Harendra de Silva had more enemies than friends in higher places in Sri Lanka.  

Despite threats to his life, he launched local and international campaigns against use of children in labour and is now campaigning internationally on this issue. Professor de Silva also initiated a programme against child abuse in Pakistan, training doctors both locally and in Nepal, India, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Yemen. Prof. De Silva has been a adviser and a consultant to a number of international organizations on child affairs.

After finishing his term as the chairman of CPA, Prof. Harendra founded his own   organization “Varam” (a chance to life) dedicated to protecting children in coastal areas of Sri Lanka who are under threat from Pedophilias.

Apart from Varam, he has also undertaken a water purification project for the Internally Displaced Persons at Manik Farm in Zone 5.

His awards include the Most Outstanding Asian Pediatrician Award from the Asian Pediatrics Association and the Career Award from the International Society against Child Abuse and Neglect (USA). He is also a renowned author of many publications and books, among them “Power Games” on child soldiers in Sri Lanka.

The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, for the individual who has made a substantial contribution to improving health care, will be chosen by BMJ readers in a vote. Voting begins on 4 January on and will close on 15 February. The winner will be announced at the BMJ Group Award ceremony on 10 March.

Read the water purification project at Manik Farm in full



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