Plus - Appreciation

He saw to it that rural people got the best of dental services

Dr. Adley Mohamed

It was with deep sorrow that I heard about the sudden demise of my friend and former colleague, Dr. Adley Mohamed.

I had the privilege of knowing him and working with him closely for a considerable period of time, and I found in him a genuine friend and committed professional.

After qualifying as a dental surgeon at the University of Peradeniya, Dr. Mohamed worked in the hospital dental service for some time before proceeding to England for postgraduate studies.

He obtained his postgraduate qualifications in dental public health from the Royal College of Surgeons, and returned to the island to take up the post of Regional Dental Surgeon, efficiently managing hospital and school dental services.

It was during this time that the Sri Lanka Dental Association initiated the country’s first-ever fluoride research project. This was a programme to remove excess fluoride from drinking water at Polpitigama, in the Kurunegala district.

As the project’s honorary secretary, he was involved from the beginning, and he was instrumental in conducting two preliminary surveys with a UK consultant, Dr. June Nunn. While the project was in progress, Dr. Mohamed visited Kurunegala many times and took a keen interest in devising a procedure to prevent the dark-brown discolouration of children’s teeth (dental fluorosis) in the North Central Province.

Dr. Mohamed was a past president of the Sri Lanka Dental Association, and served as honorary secretary of the College of Community Dentistry from its inception. He later took on the mantle of president. In later years he served as a senior committee member of the college, and junior members always sought his advice.

Dr. Mohamed was a familiar figure at the annual scientific sessions of the college, presenting scientific papers of a very high standard.

He was instrumental in securing a substantial amount of funds from Japan to set up a clinically oriented project to whiten the fluorised teeth of children (micro abrasion technique) in distant corners of the island, including Embilipitiya, Moneragala, Polonnaruwa and Kekirawa.

During these interactions, he made a number of friends based in the UK and Japan. It was only a few weeks ago that he visited his UK friends on the way to the US to see his two children.

In the latter stages of his career, Dr. Mohamed served as Consultant Dental Surgeon in the Health Education Bureau of the Ministry of Health.

His untimely death is an irreparable loss to the dental profession in general and the dental public health community of Sri Lanka in particular.

Dr. K. D. G. Saparamadu

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