A Little Bit of Our History

In response to a request from the Sri Lanka University Grants Commission (UGC) for capital development proposals for a five year period 1985-1990, the Faculty of Medicine proposed the establishment of a centre dedicated for research in tropical medicine (CRTM). This took into account the wide range of medical research that the Faculty was engaged in at the time. These projects included:

  1. Medical problems resulting from the widespread use of agrochemicals
  2. Mycobacterium infections: tuberculosis, leprosy, and non-tuberculous mycobacteria
  3. Aflatoxins in human and animal foods
  4. Malaria, especially in the new colonisation zones of the Mahaweli river diversions, hydroelectricity and irrigation schemes
  5. Filariasis
  6. Arboviral infections, especially dengue and Japanese encephalitis

The memorandum was tabled on the proposed “Centre for Research in Tropical Medicine” at the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya. The University Council considered Council paper C/85/7 (b) and approved it, recommending to the UGC the establishment of the CRTM. In view of these constraints, the CRTM commenced its activities in September 1993 on a functional rather than a physical scale.

The scope of activities of the CRTM was originally and still is, after its inauguration in September 1993, not restricted to the Medical Faculty but involved other state universities as well. The original proposal envisaged a building to include specialised laboratories with equipment to promote research in these areas, administrative and supportive functions (a specialised library, technical and secretarial staff). Following the national problems of the mid to late 1980s and the early 1990s, these proposals were later curtailed mainly due to lack of funds and loss of academic and technical staff due to emigration.

Its main thrust now includes:

  1. Promotion of scientific literacy and scientific research capability
  2. Establishment of research links with national and international centres.
  3. Organization of training programs with international assistance


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