Sri Lanka: December 2, 2011
December 2, 2011
Visiting Professors: Shen-Yang Lim, David Williams
Host: Association of Sri Lankan Neurologists (ASN)
Starting out the day with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp
The VPP jointly organized by the Association of Sri Lankan Neurologists (ASN) and the MDS Asian & Oceanian Section was held on December 2, 2011 in Combo, Sri Lanka. This was organized as a pre- congress session of the 5th Annual Scientific Sessions of the ASN.
Two eminent movement disorder specialists from the region, Prof. David Williams from Melbourne, Australia and Dr. Shen-Yang Lim from Malaysia conducted the sessions together with a few other Sri Lankan Neurologists. The program was aimed at understanding the basic fundamentals in movement disorders.
The day's proceedings started with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp and the national anthem of Sri Lanka. ASN President welcomed the foreign delegates, thanked MDS for their support and hoped for a long term productive relationship with MDS in the future. Dr. Tissa Wijerathna, a Sri Lankan born neurologist from Melbourne, outlined the program in his introductory speech and introduced MDS and how members could benefit from MDS through the waived dues membership, especially designed for countries like Sri Lanka.
The course material was discussed in depth with lectures and interactive video sessions from both the foreign and local experts. This was a novel and interesting experience to the audience as this was the first time such a program was conducted in the region. The program was well attended by 126 participants comprising of neurologists, post graduate trainees in neurology, internal medicine specialists and pediatricians.
Visiting Professors, Dr. Shen-Yang Lim and Prof. David Williams with Course Directors
A post-program evaluation was conducted for each topic and for the program as a whole. Results indicated positive learning with 76% of participants highly satisfied with the overall course content and 83% agreeing that the program helped them to improve their knowledge about movement disorders. 100% were in favor of having similar programs conducted in the future. There are several other positive outcomes from this VPP such as a substantial increase in Sri Lankan membership in the MDS and more importantly a proposal that there be a Sri Lankan Movement Disorder Society in the near future that would work towards becoming an MDS Affiliate member. This Visiting Professor Program in Colombo fulfilled the intent of MDS by making a significant impact in a country that is underrepresented in the society and initiating a link between local specialists and international movement disorder specialists. Ultimately, this program helped to improve the quality of care to patients living with movement disorders who lack the resources of their counterparts in the developed world.
Submitted by Darshana Sirisena, MD Teaching Hospital Anuradhapura, Colombo, Sri Lanka