7 March 2014
Death of Fellow Hemantha D. Wickramatillake March 2014 The Collegium Ramazzini mourns the unexpected and premature loss of our colleague Hemantha D. Wickramatillake from Sri Lanka. Hemantha passed away this week while teaching in Kuala Lampur, Maylasia.
Dr. Wickramatillake was the former Director of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in Sri Lanka and, at the time of his nomination to the Collegium Ramazzini, was one of only two fully-trained occupational medicine physicians in his country, a nation of 20 million people.
Dr. Wickramatillake earned his MD at the University of Ceylon, his Master of Science in Environmental Health and Occupational Medicine from the National University of Singapore and his PhD in Occupational Health at the University of Adelaide.
He held a number of academic appointments including at Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi, the University of Moratuwa and the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka, the University of Adelaide, Australia and Drexel University, USA.
Hemantha contributed to a number of international projects including extensive work following the devastating Tsunami that struck Sri Lanka in 2005. He was appointed by the United Nations as one of the 5 experts from Asian countries to evaluate the NGO collaboration in disaster reconstruction. He also worked with numerous other international organizations including UNICEF, USAID, the World Bank and various ministries in Sri Lanka.
Hemantha was married and was a great sports enthusiast, basketball being his favorite. He was elected to the Collegium Ramazzini in 2010 and attended two editions of Ramazzini Days, in 2011 and 2013. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family and the wide network of patients and colleagues who held him in such high regard.