Profile > Meet Our President
Dr. Pramilla Senanayake
MBBS, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, FSLCOG
- Dr Pramila Senanayake did her medical training at the Faculty of Medicine in Colombo where she obtained her MBBS with honors and distinctions. Her post graduate studies were at the London University where she obtained her DTPH & PhD (in Maternal & Child Health).
- She then joined the London based International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) serving first as its Medical Director for 10 years and then as Assistant Director General, a post she held for 17 years. During her career at IPPF she was responsible for the global technical programmes of the Federation in over 150 countries. These programmes included sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, women‘s development, gender, adolescent health, safe motherhood and contraceptive technology and research.
- Dr Senanayake has received honorary degrees from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FRCOG) (UK), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and from the Sri Lankan College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (FSLCOG) (Possibly the only Sri Lankan to have received awards from all three Colleges).
- In 2003 she was awarded the FIGO distinguished service award for her contribution to women’s health globally.
- She was awarded the Sri Lanka Sikhamani in 2005 by The President of Sri Lanka for her contribution to Womens’ health gender & empowerment.
- She is the Chair of the Board of the Concept Foundation (Thailand). (an organization that works to improve Womens sexual & Reproductive health through the provision of low cost high quality reproductive health related products).
- She is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Board of Family Health International (North Carolina).
- She is a member of the Board of the Neelam Thiruchelvam Trust (Sri Lanka) an organization that works for peace & reconciliation. Dr Senanayake is the only reproductive health Specialist on this Board and one of her roles is to help with the Internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka especially the women and to assist in finding solutions to victims of rape , incest etc.
- Trustee of The Hemas Tsunami/Outreach Foundation (Sri Lanka).
- Founder member & trustee of The AIDS Foundation of Sri Lanka. Dr Senanayake’s role here is to provide guidance on prevention of stigma, and assist individuals & couples with sexuality and sexual & reproductive health related issues especially discordant couples.
- Adviser to the Mercy Community Centre (a drug rehabilitation centre) provide counseling for the male inmates of this centre on HIV Sexual health & sexuality.
- She has written and published widely on many subjects. She has over 100 articles in scientific journals and edited over 20 books and journals. Many of these publications are on Reproductive health sexual health & adolescent health.
- She is a consultant to the World Health Organization, UNFPA and UNAIDS.
- She frequently broadcasts on both radio and television in Sri Lanka & overseas specially on women health and reproductive rights.
- She has published an Atlas on contraception which is used world wide by doctors and medical students.
- Founder and Chairperson of Educate A Child Trust (EACT) an organization that enables 825 poor children in Sri Lanka to obtain schooling. These children are provided sexuality education and health education particularly on HIV especially as many of these children live in a coastal town and are vulnerable to child prostitution & pedophilic activities.
- She was recently awarded the Zonta Women of Achievement 2009 for –Medicine (particularly for her role in adolescent reproductive health & gender related health issues in Sri Lanka.
- Dr Senanayake not only promotes voluntarism but is a volunteer for many organizations where she is the chair or member of the board (see bio) and in that capacity she works with a diverse group of volunteers from different walks of life.
- She has actively recruited volunteers especially youth for these organizations.
- Her own charity the Educate a Child Trust is run mainly by young volunteers.
- Dr Senanayake is a visionary. She is an international authority on Sexual & Reproductive health, family planning, and issues related to population, environment and development. She is experienced in the design and implementation of relevant target-driven strategic plans, and research programmes.
- She is involved with the design & execution of programmes in Sri Lanka & overseas which include: Family Planning and Contraception, Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections, including HIV/AIDS, SRH information and counsel for Adolescents and Youth. Sub-fertility treatment and counseling.
- Dr. Senanayake, is a tireless campaigner for justice, whether on the global stage, fighting for the rights of women, or seeking to correct an unfair situation affecting a colleague or friend, her unique combination of skills, determination, courage and commitment to social justice render her an excellent example of how women can make a massive contribution to the wider community.
- Dr. Senanayake is very aware of the global problem of Violence against Women and unsafe abortion. She has committed herself to working towards reducing both these problems. While the chair of the Global Forum for Health Research she convened a global meeting to review work thus far undertaken on this topic. Programmes & strategies have been developed to address this issue. In Sri Lanka she campaigns for the reduction of unsafe abortion.