Posted on 2 February 2017
CGHH is delighted to announce that Dr. Suranga Dolamulla, Sri Lanka's Director of Tertiary Care, will be joining the History Department as an awardee of the prestigious Wellcome Trust Research Award in the Medical Humanities for Health Professionals. Dr Dolamulla will work on a project titled "Middle Income Country Solutions for a Global Anti Microbial Resistance Problem (AMR): Innovative health financing and the regulation of ‘essential antibiotics’". His inter-disciplinary study will start in the 2017-18 academic year and he will work with Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya on research, policy advocacy and public engagement over a period of three years. During his stay at the University of York, Dr. Dolamulla will also register for an inter-disciplinary PhD, which will be co-supervised by Professor Bhattacharya and Professor Tim Doran (Health Sciences).
Dr Dolamulla’s project will critically assess the recent history of Primary Health Care, as it was espoused in circles of international and national governance, and examine how the free and universal distribution and use of antibiotics ended up as becoming a prime driver of the AMR problem. He will study the political, economic and social bases of the expansion of primary health care, the spread of 'essential antibiotics' through universal health coverage, the interactions between Sri Lankan government agencies and WHO offices and departments, and, not least, how taxation and final regulation impacted import, distribution and use of these drugs across districts in the country. Using long-term data, drawn from a range of historical collections, Dr. Dolamulla will also work with health policy experts and health economists to develop a financial model for the equitable but effective deployment of antibiotics in Sri Lanka; findings that will also be of relevance to countries that are members of the WHO Regional Office for South East Asia (and, quite possibly, other developing countries wider afield).
CGHH and the Departments of History and Health Sciences at the University of York welcome Dr. Dolamulla, and look forward to developing new, inter-disciplinary synergies that will create new kinds of cutting edge, policy-relevant research.