About Us

Welcome to the Department of Community and Family Medicine

The Department of Community and Family Medicine (DCFM) is committed to achieving excellence in teaching, research, and clinical practice in the disciplines of community medicine, public health, and primary care.

The undergraduate curriculum spans all five years of the medical programme. It trains undergraduates to critically analyze health issues in their broader social context; design public health/primary care interventions to address health problems; develop skills in communication and public health management; and cultivate positive attitudes toward health promotion. DCFM also functions as a training center for the MD in Community Medicine in partnership with the Post-Graduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo, and offers elective attachments to international medical students.

Ongoing research initiatives at the Department span a range of topics, including non-communicable diseases, nutrition, mental health, primary care, and health systems. The Department’s academic staff members collaborate with international institutions and organizations in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

The service functions of DCFM include: administering the University Field Project Area in collaboration with the Medical Officer of Health-Nallur; providing leadership for the organization of public health campaigns and other health promotion activities in the Northern Province; delivering primary care services through the Family Health Centre by adopting an innovative model of community-oriented primary care; contributing to service provision through various community-based organizations; and designing and publishing health education material.

History

The Department of Community Medicine was established soon after the creation of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna, in 1978. It started functioning with the appointment of Prof. C. Sivagnanasundram as the first Head of Department.

The Department was initially set up at the present site of the Siddha Department in Kaithady, and then shifted to the Pathology Block at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital in 1981, and later to the ground floor of the incomplete Medical Faculty building on September 19, 1985. On completion of the building, the Department finally moved to its present location on the first floor in September 1986.

In 2011, Family Medicine was introduced into the curriculum, and the Department became the Department of Community and Family Medicine (as per Gazette Extraordinary No: 1711/24 of 24.06.2011).

The building and the equipment in the Department were destroyed during the IPKF operation in 1985 and again during ‘Operation Rivirasa’ in 1995. During the latter, the population of Jaffna vacated and the buildings were abandoned; most of the furniture and equipment were destroyed or lost. Prof. C. Sivagananasundram continued to serve in the Department even after his retirement until his last days. His good practice was carried forward by Dr. N. Sivarajah.