Sri Lanka, which is moving towards a sustainable economy out of a severe economic crisis, is currently in a challenging situation as the fastest aging country in South Asia. For this reason, due to the increased accountability of the health care system in Sri Lanka, the need for a qualified health care workforce has intensified due to the increase in health problems associated with the elderly. To meet this demand, CAPAGE project, a consortium of 4 EU and 6 Sri Lankan Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) has been formed with the shared goal of developing sustainable innovation capacity to modernize higher and professional HC education in Healthy Aging and Geriatrics (HA&G) in Sri Lanka.

Under this program, continuous professional development courses and undergraduate courses will be developed in accordance with the standards and protocols of the University Grants Commission and Ministry of Higher Education, Sri Lanka. Six leading universities in Sri Lanka, including General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, University of Colombo, University of Peradeniya, University of Ruhuna, Eastern University and University of Jaffna, are participating in the project as beneficiaries, representing the country’s diverse ethnic groups. The primary aim of the project is to enhance the professional competencies of HC providers working with the elderly through a coordinated interdisciplinary approach, in line with EU standards, national health priorities and in collaboration with academics, HC professionals, students, clients, researchers and (non)governmental organizations.

The Kick-Off event marking the launch of this project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, ‘Promoting Academic and Professional Excellence in Health Care to Address the Challenges of Aging in Sri Lanka’ was held from 19th to 23rd February 2024 at the Oak Ray Regency Hotel, Kandy. The event was hosted by the University of Peradeniya and the event was attended by academic and administrative staff from all partner Sri Lankan universities and European universities including University of Applied Sciences FH-Joanneum (Austria) , Santa Maria Health School (Portugal), University of A Coruña (Spain) and Jamk University of Applied Sciences (Finland).

Representing General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Dean, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences: Surgeon Captain NRP Perera, the CAPAGE Project Manager – KDU: Mr. SADCS Senavirathna, Head, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences: Dr. HPM Dabare, Head, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences: Dr. K Abhayasinghe, Project Members: Ms. GAD Perera and Ms. ADP Perera attended for this event.

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