NUTRITION SOCIETY OF SRI LANKA
President, Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka
Ms Visakha Thilakaratne
c/o Vilitu Head office
No. 3, Torrington Avenue,
Person to contact:
President of the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka
Ms Visakha Thilakaratne
Number of Members: 420
Executive Council (2014)
President: Dr. Angela de Silva
Vice President: Ms Visakha Thilakaratne
Joint Secretaries : Dr. Usha Hettiaratchi & Ms. Dilka Peiris
Treasurer: Dr. Athulla Wijesundara
Editor: Dr Pulani Lanerolle
Council members :
Dr. KDDR Silva
Dr. Senarath Mahamithawa
Dr. Shanthi Gunawardena
Dr. Ranil Jayawardena
Dr. Anoma Chandrasekara
Dr. Terrence Madujith
Dr. Ananda Chandrasekara
Mr. Roshan Dela Bandara
Ms. Harshi Gunawardena
Annual Scientific Sessions and the AGM
- Annual Scientific Sessions 2014
The Annual Scientific Sessions of the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka was held on 26th January 2014 at Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo. The theme of the sessions was ““Applying nutritional science to healthy living; preventing Non communicable Diseases”. The sessions were declared opened by the Hon, Minister of Health, Mr Maithripala Sirisena.
The key note address of the session on “Nutrition and Chronic Disease: Modifiable Factors and Prevention” was delivered by Prof Alan A Jackson, Professor of Nutrition, University of Southampton, Director NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre in Nutrition, UK. This was followed by two plenary lectures “Obesity is a major problem – what should we do about it?” by Prof Ian Caterson, Professor of Human Nutrition, Sydney Medical School, New South Wales, Australia and “Micronutrients, Lancet interventions; gaps and controversies” by Prof Umesh Kapil, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. The four symposia too were similarly multidisciplinary as per the theme. The sessions were enhanced by a sharing of research efforts by many young researchers around the country, giving young researchers the much needed exposure to scientific dialogue.
The Annual General Meeting
The AGM 2013/2014 was held at the close of the Annual Scientific Sessions at the Taj Samudra Hotel, Colombo and chaired by the President Dr. Angela de Silva and Dr Angela de Silva and the other office bearers were appointed to the council for the year 2014/2015.
Oration in honor of Emeritus Professor T. W. Wikramanayake
For the second time, the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka held the oration felicitating one of its Founder Members and an eminent scholar and nutritionist, Prof T. W. Wikramanayaka who dedicated his life and work to improving nutrition in Sri Lanka. Prof Wikramanayake’s efforts in improving nutrition in Sri Lanka over the years included being a founder member of the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka, extensive research in nutrition, carrying out development programmes in nutrition and initiating many country level policies related to nutrition. The orator was Prof Rajitha Wickramesinghe, Professor of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, who had been privileged to work closely with the late Professor Wikramanayake. He most eloquently described the achievements of Prof. Wikramanayake, and the theme of his work was on “The malnourished child; a public health perspective”, which was a fitting tribute to the late Professor Wikramanayake.
Programs conducted by the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka – 2014
Nutrition Society conducted several activities in year 2014 for capacity development of the members and other interested stakeholders.
Workshop on milk
There has been much confusion due to unsubstantiated and unscientific information regarding the milk industry and the consumption of milk. Therefore, the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka organized a seminar followed by a panel discussion to provide evidence based information to its members and invited professionals regarding milk. The panel discussion was funded by the Society’s own funds and 30 participants were present.
Clinical Nutrition Meeting 2014
The Clinical Nutrition meeting was held in July 2014 at the Upper Crystal Ballroom, Taj Samudra Hotel. The objective of the meeting was to enhance the clinical nutrition knowledge of participants. There were lectures, case discussions and approximately 100 participants participated in this meeting. The resource persons included Dr. B Ravinder Reddy, Consultant Surgeon (Gastroenterology), Kamineni Hospital, Hyderabad & Hon Professor Clinical Nutrition, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, Prof Stanislaw Klek, Head, Oncological Surgery Unit and HPN Unit, Stanley Dudrik Memorial Hospital, Poland and President, Polish Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition Society and Ms Salome Benjamin, Chief Medical Nutritionist, TN Medical College and Nair Hospital, India.
Public nutrition education programmes:
Television Talk shows
With the objective of educating the public on basic nutrition aspects, 10 Television talk shows were conducted on a popular TV channel from March –October 2014. The themes were on macro and micronutrients, food plate, healthy eating, nutrition for the school child and adolescent, sports nutrition. The speakers were the Council members and other experts from the general membership of the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka.
Newspaper articles and other publications
Two publications of the society’s newsletter, the Nutrition Focus took place in 2014.
Public education articles to media
Members of the Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka wrote many articles to the newspapers and magazines to improve awareness and knowledge of the general public on nutrition and lifestyle. These included features on child nutrition, school children’s nutrition, healthy eating for adults, elderly and pregnancy and lactation as well as healthy and unhealthy food facts.
National Nutrition Month activities
The National Nutrition month is organized by the Ministry of Health and is a yearly event to highlight the importance of nutrition. The Society usually organizes nutrition related activities and events during this period.
The Newsletter of the Society which coincided with the Nutrition month was published on the theme of iron deficiency which was the theme of the National Nutrition Month.
A school teacher training programme on nutrition on how to educate the children of grade four and five on basic nutrition using an activity based programme was conducted in collaboration with World Vision Lanka, Nutrition Coordination Division and the state health sector, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka.
A Nutrition Society stall was formed at the Nutrition month inauguration event. A one dish meal for a busy lifestyle was the message of the stall and the programme. This was a programme to teach the mothers on how to prepare a nutritious meal with available resources within a short time period.
Other activities conducted by the Nutrition society
3.1 Newsletters of the Society: A high quality newsletter containing information on nutrition was published regularly; 2 issues of the newsletter have been published for 2014/2015.
Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka has been continuing the membership and ties with the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) and the Federation of Asian Nutrition Societies (FANS).
Constitutional reforms - The document on constitutional reforms which was discussed during the AGM was revisited again and examined by the Nutrition Society Council and will be available for comments by members.
Advocacy for human resource development in Sri Lanka.
Expert opinion and advocacy in nutrition related matters: The society functions as a resource center for provision of expert opinion on matters related to nutrition through both representations as a society and through its members functioning in their individual capacity. Some areas are:
- The Food Advisory Committee.
The Nutrition Division and Nutrition Coordination Division of the Ministry of Healthcare Sri Lanka.
The National Nutrition Steering Committee, Ministry of Health.
The Breast feeding Code monitoring committee of the Ministry of Health.
Technical Advisory Committee on Nutrition for the Multi Sectorial action Plan for Nutrition.