The Human Genetics Unit in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Medical Association and the Ministry of Health organised the symposium to support the national effort to prevent and control birth defects.

Two world renowned experts – Prof. I. C. Verma and Prof. Dhavendra Kumar spoke at the Workshop. The other foreign speakers were Dr. S. Suresh from India and Dr. Farha Zahir from Canada.

Dr. Palitha Maheepala, Additional Director, Ministry of Health and Dr. Kapila Jayarathne, National Programme Manager for Maternal and Child Morbidity and Mortality Surveillance presented Sri Lanka’s plans to introduce birth defects surveillance.
The workshop concluded with a pannel discussion with the following pannelists in attendance – Dr. Vinya Ariyarathne – President, College of Community Physicians; Dr. Deepthi De Silva, Director, Family Health Bureau; Prof. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake, President, Sri Lanka Medical Association; Dr M. L. R. Siyamabalagoda, Deputy Director General (Public Health Services), Ministry of Health, National Focal Point for Birth Defects Prevention and Control; Dr. Anoma Jayathilake, National Professional Officer (MPS, CAH, RH and GWH), World Health Organisation, Sri Lanka; Dr. Medha Weerasekara, representative, Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians; Dr. SMHMK Senanayake, President Elect, College of Forensic Pathologists of Sri Lanka; Dr. H. A. A. Priyani, Secretary, College of Pathologists of Sri Lanka; and Prof. Hemantha Senanayake, President Elect, Sri Lanka College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and President, Perinatal Society of Sri Lanka.