Murugesar Sinnetamby Oration

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Murugesar Sinnetamby was born on 4th July, 1859 in Jaffna. He graduated from the Ceylon Medical College and received license to practice medicine and surgery in Ceylon in 1882, following, which he served as a supernumerary assistant surgeon for the colonial medical service for seven years. Thereafter he traveled to Edinburgh and secured the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1890, becoming the first Ceylon doctor to do so, a distinction he shared with Dr. A. B. Santiago who was admitted to the Fellowship at the same occasion. Within one year of arriving at Edinburgh, he obtained Conjoint diplomas of both Edinburgh and Glasgow and the Doctorate of Medicine of the University of Brussels.

Upon his return to Ceylon in 1890, he was appointed the Deputy Assistant Colonial Surgeon. Over the years he turned his attention more and more towards obstetrics and in 1899, at the age of forty he became the Superintendent of the De Soysa Lying-in-Home. He held this position for 20 years until his retirement and it was with his vision and untiring efforts that the De Soysa Hospital acquired it’s reputation for being a premier institution in maternal care in the country. Dr. Sinnetamby was a skilled obstetrician who generously extended personal devotion and kindness to all his patients.  He was an outstanding teacher and an examiner in obstetrics and the Council of the Medical College in Ceylon conferred him an Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics on his retirement.

Dr. Sinnetamby was an instrumental member of the medical fraternity that established the Ceylon Branch of the British Medical Association and held the posts of council member, secretary, treasurer, editor of it’s journal and the vice-president. He was elected the President of the Association in 1908 and held office for 3 years.

He lived righteously with a strong sense of duty, an unswerving conscience and resilient religious convictions.  He was a philanthropist and an aficionado of both science and arts. He died of a coronary thrombosis in 1920 at the age of 61, while conducting a forceps delivery at Panadura with the assistance of his son Dr. Veera Sinnetamby. This fitting end stands testimony to the life lived by Dr. Murugesar Sinnetamby,  a passionate advocate of continuing education who dedicated a greater part of his life to provide the best possible care for the patients who took to him and set lofty standards of service and conduct for all those who followed him; who played his full part to the community with exceptional modesty and morality to support out own profession and further the knowledge and practice of medicine.

Past orations

2014 – “Endometriosis and Metalloestrogens: Defining a Sri Lankan Paradigm”, Dr Nalinda Silva, MBBS, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences University of Sri Jayewardenepura

2013 – Not Awarded

2012 – “The medically complicated pregnancy – the Sri Lankan perspective”, Professor Chandrika N Wijeyaratne, M.B.B.S. D.M(Col),M.D(Med),FCCP.,FRCP (London) Professor in Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Honorary Consultant Physician & Endocrinologist, De Soysa Hospital for Women, Sri Lanka

2011 – Incidence of antisperm antibodies and their implications on sub fertility in couples undergoing assisted reproductive technologies”, Dr Varuni Tennakoon MBBS, M. Phil, Lecturer, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda

2010 – Does lack of oestrogen have an effect on postural balance and congnitive functions in menopausal women. Dr Himansu Waidyasekera MBBS, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura

2005 – 2009 – Not Awarded

2004 – Refinements in Caesarean section – Dr Hemantha Senanayake, Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo

2003 – Laparoscopic management of endometriosis in the Sri Lankan setting – Dr Hemantha Senanayake, Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo

2002 – The challenge facing forceps deliveries in modern obstetrics – Prof. Deepal S Weerasekara, Professor in Obstetrics and Gynaecnology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenapura.

1999 – 2001 – Not Awarded

1998 – Poisoning: Dissemination of life saving information – activities and experiences over a decade – Prof. Ravindra Fernando, Professor of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo.

1997 – Salt: Blood pressure and other adverse effects – Prof. Graham A Macgregor.

1992 – 1996 – Not Awarded

1991 – The role of low dose aspirin in high risk hypertensive pregnancies – Prof. Harsha Seneviratne, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo.

1988 – 1990 – Not Awarded

1987 – Studies in Spinal Anaesthesia – Dr. Deepthi Attygalle, Consultant Anaesthesiologist.

1984 – 1986 – Not Awarded

1983 – Antibiotic Policy – Dr. S. D. Atukorala, Clinical Bacteriologist, General Hospital, Colombo.

1977 – 1982 – Not Awarded

1976 – The significance of differential uterine measurements in vivo – Dr. Mahasara Gunaratne, Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Sri Lanka, Peradeniya, Campus,

1975 – Assessment of fetal maturity – J. Ashmore F Attapattu – Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Base Hospital, Gampaha.

1974 – Obstetric and gynaecological complications associated with bicornuate uterus – Dr. P.H.D de Silva, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Base Hospital, Kegalle.

1973 – Post partum haemorrhage and the flying squad – Linton Snaith, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

1972 – Successful treatment of infertility – Dr. Siva Chinnathamby

1971 – Perinatal mortality – Dr. S. Rajanayagam, Senior Obstetrician and Gynaecologist – Castle Street Hospital for Women.

1970 – Vaginal hysterectomy and repair – a study of 1000 cases – Prof. D.A.Ranasinghe, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Ceylon, Colombo Campus.

1969 – Trophoblast and its tourmours in Ceylonese women – Prof. G.H. Cooray, Professor of Pathology, Department of Pathology, University of Ceylon, Colombo Campus.

1968 – Life and work of Murugesar Sinnetamby – T.N.A. Jeffcoate, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Liverpool.