Visakasuntharam Kunanandam

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 05 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:51
  1. P Sivakumar

    Having successfully fulfilled his long standing ambition to become an excellent neurosurgeon, Visakasuntharam Kunanandam's talent, skill, and utilitarian nature saw him save countless lives in war torn Jaffna, Sri Lanka. He pioneered the annual medical exhibitions and the annual cultural evening at the medical faculty in the early 1980s.

    The volatile political climate forced Kunanandam to take refuge in the United Kingdom for a few years in the late 1980s as an associate specialist in neurosurgery at Hull Royal Infirmary. In the mid-1990s, with the threat of closure of the surgical department at the University of Jaffna due to staff shortage, he selflessly returned to Sri Lanka to serve the people.

    He established the first computed tomography scanning unit at the Jaffna Hospital, thus eliminating the need for patients to travel 250 miles for a scan and neurosurgical treatment. In the past few years he worked tirelessly to establish a new medical faculty in the east of Sri Lanka. In the few months preceding his untimely death, he was appointed a member of the University Grant Commission in Sri Lanka.

    He is survived by his wife; daughter, a trainee surgeon; and son.


    • Consultant neurosurgeon and visiting professor of surgery University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka (b 1946; q Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 1970; FRCSEd 1980, FRCS Surgical Neurology 1990, PhD 1997), died from status asthmaticus on 6 August 2006.

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