It has been a great honour to serve as the President of the Sri Lanka Orthopaedic Association for the year 2020. During the past two decades the SLOA has played a growingly important role in redefining the future of Orthopaedic and Trauma care in Sri Lanka. I am happy to be a part of this process.

Since my induction, I have planned many events that were aimed at uplifting the academic activities of the association in keeping with our Vision and Mission. The activities during the year 2020 contributed in improving the Orthopaedic knowledge of our membership and contained updates incorporating many overseas faculties who have been instrumental in conducting conferences and workshops with hands-on experience. Unfortunately, we could not achieve our projected targets due to limitations beyond our control caused by the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Under the circumstances we had to limit the activities of the Association other than for a handful of workshops and seminars successfully completed during the first quarter of the year with internationally recognized Faculty. Many routinely conducted annual events had to be cancelled or postponed because of the Pandemic. However, we have supported the National Health System in many ways in collaborating with other colleges and associations in sustaining the essential Orthopaedic and Trauma services with the spontaneous assistance of our members Islandwide.

Accidents and Trauma have been identified as major burden on our free healthcare system. This results in loss of lives and disability which in turn consumes many resources of our health system. As a professional organization of a specified field of medicine, it is our responsibility to support and advise the relevant stakeholders in preventing accidents and trauma. Therefore, I selected the theme for this year 2020 as “Fracture – a preventable disease”. In order to achieve this task, “The Safe Living” project was established with the assistance of other associations and the proposals were well accepted for implementation by these authorities. We envisage that the results would be beneficial to the Nation.

2020 in particular has been a challenging year for me and the Association. Although we had to limit physical gatherings due to the prevailing safety precautions, we continued to have educational activities using the available resources to conduct educational programs for our members through webinars both at national and international levels. These programs have paved the way for our member Surgeons to share their knowledge and experience with international faculty. These programs were well accepted by our younger Surgeons because they could gain valuable knowledge through the webinars.

With the numbers of Orthopaedic surgeons showing a steady increase, we are proud of delivering Islandwide Orthopaedic and trauma care and establishing centers of specialty in major hospitals without compromising the services in the periphery.

I wish to make use of this opportunity to offer a well deserved word of thanks and appreciation to the council and members of SLOA who have been by my side supporting me every step of the way. I would not have been able to survive this year without you! It has been a great pleasure to be your President and as I conclude my term of office my heart is filled with pleasant and joyful memories that we all created throughout the year.

Dr V Swarnakumaar
President SLOA