Origin of HEDMaTC


Sri Lanka was one of the countries in the South-East Asia region, which was struck by the devastating tsunami in the early hours of December 26th 2004, leaving behind widespread destruction, killing nearly 40,000 people and destroying over 100,000 homes.
Post-tsunami impact in Sri Lanka, led the country to look afresh into the management of emergencies and disasters.  Specific approaches had to be applied mobilizing special groups for rescue, relief and emergency care.  When the Tsunami struck Sri Lanka, doctors, nurses, para-medical staff and voluntary groups went to the sites of devastation and provided relief and emergency care.  However, there were no proper contingency plans, protocols and pro-active machinery to handle such situations. 

There is no formal comprehensive academic/training course on health sector disaster management in the country. In the changing scenario those involved with the health sector planning and management at state level should be aware of the thrust areas of disaster preparedness, mitigation, early coordinated response, recovery and rehabilitation for effective planning.


The importance of a disaster management protocol for Sri Lanka was identified.  It was decided to conduct further training programs for the relevant groups in order to develop and implement the disaster management protocol for Sri Lanka.
To facilitate training of health personnel, the Health Emergency and Disaster Management Training Centre (HEDMaTC) was established at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya. This training centre was established in March 2006 at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, with the assistance of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The aim of this Centre is to formally promote and conduct human resource development and research for the prevention, control and management of Health Emergencies and Disasters.    
Vision, Mission and Objectives


To be the premier health emergency and disaster management training centre in South Asia.


Contribute to the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for appropriate, efficient and effective management of health emergencies through training and research. 

  • Plan and carry out in-course training, seminars and workshops to increase the knowledge on Health Emergencies and Disaster Management in relevant professionals and thereby develop a core group of persons with expertise in these areas.
  • Establish and conduct postgraduate courses in Health Emergency and Disaster Management.
  • Promote research on Health Emergency and Disaster Management.
  • To establish regional and global links and networks in these fields

Organizational Structure

Board of Management
Chairman Dean / Medicine – Prof. Vajira Weerasinghe
Director Prof. M.D. Lamawansa
Programme Coordinators
  Public Emergency and Disaster Management Training Unit Dr. A.B. Abeysundara
  Pre-hospital Emergency Care Unit Dr. Chathura Rathnayake
  Injury Research Unit Prof. Samath Dharmaratne
Members from the Faculties
    Medicine Dr. Bandula Samarasinghe  
    Engineering (Civil) Dr. Jayalath Edirisinghe  
    Science (Geology) Dr. Jagath Gunathilake  
    Veterinary & Animal Science Dr. Ashoka Dangolla  
    Arts (Sociology) Dr. T.W.M.T.W. Bandara  
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