Dr Chesmal Siriwardhana

Senior Lecturer in Public Health

Faculty:Faculty of Medical Science

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Public health

Courses taught: Public Health, Public Health , Clinical Medicine, Public Health

Dr Siriwardhana is a researcher and academic in epidemiology, mental health, migration and bioethics.

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Email: chesmal.siriwardhana@anglia.ac.uk

LinkedIn: Chesmal Siriwardhana


Dr Chesmal Siriwardhana is a medical doctor by training and completed his MSc and PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. He's also affiliated to the Institute for Research and Development (IRD), Sri Lanka. His research interests are in migration mental health, resilience research, bioethics and disaster research ethics. He is an accredited science journalist. Chesmal is currently engaged in migration-mental health research and ethics of humanitarian research globally.

Research interests

  • Conflict, forced migration and mental health
  • Resilience
  • Economic migration and mental health
  • Global mental health
  • Research ethics and disaster ethics
  • Primary care
  • Epidemiology
  • Global public health

Areas of research supervision

  • Ethics of health research in trafficked population


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  • PhD in Psychiatric Epidemiology and Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
  • MSc in Psychiatric Research, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
  • MD in General Medicine, Vitebsk State Medical University, Belarus

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member - Centre for Global Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
  • Member - King's Centre for Global Health, King's College London, UK
  • Member - Sri Lanka Medical Association
  • Member - World Association of Cultural Psychiatrists
  • Associate member - International Federation of Psychiatric Epidemiology
  • Vice President/Editor - Association of Professional Sri Lankans in the UK (APSL UK)

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • International Organization of Migration
  • Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka

Selected recent publications

Sumathipala, A., Siribaddana, S., Hewege, S., Lekamwattage, M., Athukorale, M., Siriwardhana, C., Munasinghe, K., Sumathipala, K., Murray, J., Prince, M. (2010) Understanding of Research: a Sri Lankan Perspective. BMC, Medical Ethics

Sumathipala, A., Jafarey, A., De Castro, L., Ahmad, A., Marcer, D., Srinivasan, S., Kumar, N., Siribaddana, S., Sutaryo, S., Bhan, A., Waidyaratne, D., Beneragama, S., Jayasekera, C., Edirisingha, S., Siriwardhana, C. (2010) Ethical issues in post - disaster clinical interventions and research: a developing world perspective. Key findings from a drafting and consensus generation meeting of the Working Group on Disaster Research and Ethics (WGDRE) 2007. Special issue on disasters. Asian Bioethics Review. 2(2): 124-142

Chesmal, Siriwardhana. (2010) Windows of opportunity after a disaster: the case of Sri Lanka. Special issue on disasters. Asian Bioethics Review. 2(2): 148-151

Siriwardhana, C., Sumathipala, A., Siribaddana, S., Samaraweera, S., Abeysinghe, N., Prince, M., Hotopf, M. (2011) Reducing the scarcity in mental health research from low and middleincome countries: A success story from Sri Lanka. International Review of Psychiatry, 23(1): 77–83

Siriwardhana, C., Sumathipala, A., Hewage, S.N., Siribaddana, S.H. and Deshabandu, R. (2012) Psychosocial and ethical response to disasters: a SWOT analysis of post-tsunami disaster management in Sri Lanka. Asian Bioethics Review. 4(3): 171-182

Chesmal, Siriwardhana., Robert, Stewart. (2013) Forced migration and mental health: role of resilience in prolonged internal displacement and return migration. International Health 5: 19–23

Sumathipala, A., Siribaddana, S., Hotopf, M., McGuffin, P., Glozier, N., Ball, H., Kovas, Y., Rijsdijk, F., Yatawara, L., Pariante, C., Zavos, H.,  Siriwardhana, C., Pannala, , Jayaweera, G., Adikari, K., Gunewardane, A. (2012 Update) The Sri Lankan Twin Registry. Twin Research & Human Genetics 2013; 1.

Siriwardhana, C., Adikari, A., Jayaweera, K., Sumathipala, A. (2013) Ethical challenges in mental health research among internally displaced people: ethical theory and research implementation. BMC Medical Ethics; 14:13

Siriwardhana, C., Adikari, A., Pannala, G., Siribaddana, S., Abas, M. et al. (2013) Prolonged Internal Displacement and Common Mental Disorders in Sri Lanka: The COMRAID Study. PLoS ONE 8(5): e64742. 

Siriwardhana, C., Pannala, G., Siribaddana, S., Sumathipala, A., Stewart, A. (2013) Impact of exposure to conflict, tsunami and mental disorders on school absenteeism: findings from a national sample of Sri Lankan children aged 12--17 years. BMC Public Health 13 (1), 560

Siriwardhana, C., Wickramage, K., Jayaweera, K., Adikari, A., Weerawarna, S., Van Bortel, T., Siribaddana, S., Sumathipala, A. (2013) Impact of economic labour migration: a qualitative