When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 21 October 2012

Dr Wijaya Godakumbura is what I call a serial life-saver.

All medical doctors have opportunities to save lives. But only a few take it to a higher, crusading level. Consultant surgeon Godakumbura is one who has been doing it – in hospitals and outside – for over four decades.

His motto is simple yet powerful: Prevention is better than cure.

After specializing in the UK in 1971, he worked for Sri Lanka’s public health service all his career, serving in hospitals in various parts of the island. Wherever he went, he came across hundreds of cases of injury and death caused by assorted accidents – some on the road (which get attention) but also many at home (rarely noticed).

For years, he quietly and diligently worked on treating the injured, saving as many…

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