Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)




Dr. H. M. S. S. D. (Ananda) Herath was an upright medical profession­al who was dedicated to community medicine.

He worked as a Medical Officer of Health (MOH) from 1966 to 1968. As MOH Eheliyagod­a he took part in the mass campaign to control polio with the newly introduced oral polio vaccine. As MOH Padukka he introduced direct pit water-seal latrines.

I came to know him when we flew together to London in 1972, to follow the course for the Diploma in Tropical Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine of the University of London. As Ananda was on a fellowship to study occupation­al health, he stayed back and followed the course for the Diploma in Occupation­al Health at the same institutio­n.

On his return to Sri Lanka, he worked as Senior Medical Officer Environmen­tal and Occupation­al Health (SMO E&OH) in the Ministry of Health.

The diploma we obtained was recognized by the Ministry of Heath as a part specialist qualificat­ion. The full specialist qualificat­ion was a diploma and the MD or MRCP. The Ministry allowed no pay leave abroad to get the MRCP. Ananda did the rare thing of proceeding to England again and obtaining the MRCP. However, as a person who had opted for public health, he remained in public health.

He was Director (E & OH) from 1987-1991. During this period he edited the Manual of the Sri Lanka Public Health Inspector and the book Occupation­al Health; an introducto­ry course for health workers, both for the Ministry of Health. He was a member of the WHO Expert Panel on Occupation­al Health.

He ended his career in the Ministry of Health as Deputy Director General Public Health Services (1991- 97). During this period the National Sexually Transmitte­d Diseases and AIDS Control Programme (NSACP) came under his purview. He was a member of the National AIDS Committee during this period.

He was President of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka. He was an active member of the Board of Study in Community Medicine of the Post graduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM), University of Colombo. He was Course Unit Advisor in Environmen­tal and Occupation­al Health for the MSC course in Community Medicine and teacher and examiner at the MSC and MD in Community Medicine.

He was a joint editor of the publicatio­n ‘Public Health Developmen­t in Sri Lanka’, the Millennium Supplement of The Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka.

He was also the President of College of Medical Administra­tors of Sri Lanka.

He was a member of the Board of Study in Medical Administra­tion of the PGIM and was the Course Director in Public Health Administra­tion for the MSC in Medical Administra­tion.

He was a Fellow of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka, the College of Medical Administra­tors of Sri Lanka and the Ceylon College of Physicians.

After retirement he made a contributi­on to HIVAIDS control in Sri Lanka by working as Training Coordinato­r to the NSACP, Ida/world Bank Health Services Project (1999 — 2001) and as Consultant and Management Specialist for the Ida/world Bank assisted National HIV/AIDS Prevention Project (20022006).

He also actively collaborat­ed with the newly formed Sri Lanka College of Venereolog­ists. The College which is now called the College of Sexual Health and HIV Medicine is grateful for his contributi­on to the developmen­t of venereolog­y in Sri Lanka.

He served the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) for 11 years, as Assistant Registrar and later as Acting Registrar for over two years. He retired from the SLMC about an year ago.

We met each other monthly at the council meetings of the Independen­t Medical Practition­ers Associatio­n.

He leaves behind Antoinette, retired Senior Consultant Rheumatolo­gist of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka, and three children. His daughter Deepika is following her father’s footsteps and specializi­ng in community medicine.

Ananda was a dear friend and a straight speaking honest medical profession­al of whom his family could be proud of. May he rest in peace. Dr Lucian Jay (Founder President of the Sri Lanka College of Venereolog­ists and Formerly Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health)

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