Dr.Marlene appointed New Zonta District Governor for Sri Lanka, India and BangladeshView(s):
Dr. (Mrs.) Marlene Abeye-wardene has been appointed the new Governor for Zonta District 25, by Zonta International at the Convention held in Torino, Italy recently. District 25 includes Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.
A member of Zonta Club One of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Dr. Abeyewardene is a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaechologist presently working in the private sector. Zonta International is an organisation of women executives in business and the professions working together to advance the status of women worldwide. It has a membership of over 30,000 in 1,200 clubs in 63 countries. In Sri Lanka the Zonta Club One was Chartered in 1966 and Zonta Sri Lanka has presently four clubs with over 150 members.
“I am deeply honoured and extremely happy to accept this office as the District Governor for our three countries. The goal of Zonta International is to work locally and globally to advance the status of women by empowering them with respect to health, education, legislative awareness, financial knowledge and protection from mental, physical and sexual abuse. Zonta International enjoys consultative status with the UN and the Council of Europe and assists these organisations financially by funding their programmes each biennium,” Dr. Abeyewardene said.
Dr. Abeyewardene in her new role plans to target resolving many issues and problems that the three countries in District 25 face through country specific programmes carried out in the local communities. One of the major problems in Bangladesh is acid burns as a form of violence against women, whilst in India female feticide continues to occur. HIV Aids prevention is focused on by India and Sri Lanka as is prevention of mother to child transmission through breast feeding. In Sri Lanka, India and in Bangladesh home garden programmes are carried out in rural areas.
Mentoring programmes for young girls to assist in preparation for employment as well as donations of limbs to women and young girls with congenital malformation or following accidents have been ongoing programmes in the past biennium. This biennium several new projects will be formulated including the facilitation of reconciliation of the North and South of the country in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Abeyewardene has held the post of Resident Obstetrician & Gynaecologist in the Ministry of Health at the Castle Street Hospital for Women, Colombo, and General Hospital, Kandy and Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital, Kotte, in addition to serving as Consultant at the Base Hospital Chilaw, General Hospital Ragama and Cancer Hospital, Maharagama. Her service spans significant teaching of undergraduate, postgraduate students and training of midwives well as carrying out several administrative functions for the Ministry of Health.
Dr. Abeyewardene is a Fellow of the Sri Lanka College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of the United Kingdom. She has been an active member of several professional associations and medical bodies holding various key positions in the capacities of president, council member and board member and has represented Sri Lanka in a large number of national and international medical forums. In addition to many initiatives she has pioneered, she takes the credit of being a founder member of the Menopause Society of Sri Lanka, Founder Member of the Gynaecology Endoscopic Working Party and Prenatal Society of Sri Lanka.
For her role in assisting the women of Sri Lanka with respect to reducing maternal mortality and morbidity as well as other services rendered to women in various parts of the country, Dr. Abeyewardene was awarded the FIGO – International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetric award of distinction for services rendered in improving the Reproductive Health of Women in Sri Lanka in October 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa. She also received a special service award from the Aids Foundation of Sri Lanka for delivering pregnant mothers with HIV Aids.
Dr. Abeyewardene joined Zonta Club One of Colombo as a member in 1989 and continues as an active Zontian to date. She says she enjoys carrying out the work of Zonta as it provides her with an opportunity of being of service to women in spheres other than health.
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