I consider it to be a singular honour and a privilege to have been elected the 49th President of the Kandy Society of Medicine, an organization with a rich and proud history of excellence in promotion of academic research, continuous medical education and strengthening the network of medical and dental professionals, to deliver the best possible care to the public.

I am delighted with the efficient and capable team I am blessed with, and I take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to everyone who readily came on board to share the daunting task of leading this august society this year.

The KSM has a long history of conducting many academic programmes: the weekly Wednesday CME lectures, Foundation Sessions, Annual Academic Sessions and the numerous symposia, workshops and seminars throughout the year, which I intend to continue and improve upon at every possible opportunity. In addition, we host quite a few social events including Sinhala-Hindu New Year celebration, Poson Bhakthi Gee, the annual KSM trip, Christmas carols, and they will also continue as usual, and I welcome your ideas and suggestion to make them better. The official journal of the KSM, the Sri Lanka Journal of Medicine, has reached new heights of success with the hard work of its editorial panel and numerous contributors, and I intend to support it to the fullest to achieve the status of an indexed journal in the near future.

The theme selected for this year is “reaching the needy through skilled teamwork”. There are three components in this theme: taking healthcare to those who need it most, improving the knowledge and skills of those who deliver it, and emphasizing the need of building teams incorporating all categories of health workers to make the delivery effective. We will be designing a variety of programmes to achieve these timely goals.

I have plans on three special projects with my team for this year. One, to take over the healthcare aspect of the pupils of the schools for children with special needs in Kandy. We have already embarked on the pilot project at the school for the deaf and blind, Dodamwala with great success. Two, composing a book on the history of Kandy hospital, the birthplace and home of the KSM. Several teams are in the process of gathering the information and sorting through the collected data. Three, the construction of the long-planned KSM building. It was envisioned a long time ago, and many predecessors contributed in numerous ways to convert the dream into reality. I must make special note of the last Council whose collective effort resulted in architectural drawings for a beautiful building. From this foundation we have progressed to obtain the necessary permissions and to get other formalities and technicalities worked out, and we hope to be able to begin the actual construction in a few months.

Dear friends and colleagues, I invite all of you to be active participants in the KSM, our KSM.

Dr. S. M. M. Niyas
President, Kandy Society of Medicine 2018/19