SLMC urged to cancel Prof Jayasumana’s registration


The Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) should cancel Health Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana’s registration, for serious medical misconduct, in recommending ayurvedic concoctions for Covid-19 treatment without proper evidence, Consultant Paediatrician, Dr. Ajith Amarasinghe urged.

Dr. Amarasinghe, clarifying the reasons, said yesterday (1) the Interim Report of a Public Commission, which had been appointed to analyse the ‘Dhammika Syrup’, which had been recommended as a cure for Covid-19 had been submitted to members of the public gathered in protest at the Galle Face Green.

With the delay in the Government taking action, a group of medical specialists and intellectuals saw the need to review these syrups, he said noting that it had prompted a group of intellectuals, headed by Prof. Lalitha Mendis, to review the particular syrup which had been given wide coverage as a Covid cure. Yet anothersyrup, known as the Sudharshana Syrup, was approved under the guidance of Prof. Jayasumana to be given to patients with fever.

But, to sanction such approval, according to Western Medicine, it should go through the long process of being tested in a laboratory, tested on animals, then on volunteers and subsequently on a number of patients before being given the green light as a possible fever cure. It had only sanctioned that which had been approved by the Ayurvedic Council and was accepted to be given to patients by Prof. Jayasumana, he alleged.

It took the Government some time to take necessary action whilst a huge propaganda campaign was launched to publicise the ‘benefits’ of Dhammika Peniya. Eventually the Ministry of Health appointed a committee to do a clinical study on the efficacy of Dhammika Ppeniya. The study proposal was submitted to the Ethical Clearance Committee of the Raja Rata University to analyse the Dhammika Peniya as a cure for Covid-19. The syrup was subsequently given approval for clinical trial as was announced by the Director General Health Services (DGHS) at the time.

However, no laboratory study or animal study had been done prior to seeking ethical clearance of the syrup to be used on humans.

“This is an absolutely unethical and unacceptable practice which could potentially endanger human lives, Dr, Amarasinghe lamented. The Consultant Paediatrician suggested that the Ethical Clearance Committee of Rajarata University should also be dismissed immediately.

BY Dilanthi Jayamanne