Lives of the fellows

Sivaguru Dharmavaratha

b.25 October 1931 d.1998
MB BS Ceylon(1957) DTM&H(1961) DPH(1967) MRCP(1968) MRCP Edin(1968) FWACP(1981) FRCP(1986)

Sivaguru Dharmavaratha was chairman of the department of internal medicine at the John F Kennedy Medical Center and professor of medicine at the University of Liberia. He was born in Ceylon, the son of Nagalingam Sivaguru Dharmavaratha, a civil servant, and his wife, Valliamma. He was educated at St Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, Colombo and then studied medicine at the University of Ceylon and Colombo General Hospital. After junior posts in Colombo and Ratnapura in Ceylon, he travelled to the UK in 1960 and spent a year at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). He then worked in Ghana as a medical officer, and then senior medical officer, in the government service before returning to the UK in 1967.

At the LSHTM, he passed the diploma in public health and then became senior house officer at Stone House Hospital, Dartford, Kent, where he worked from 1967 to 1968. After his time in Kent, he returned to Ceylon, and practised as a consultant physician in Colombo. In 1974 he went to Zambia to work for three years as consultant physician to the Livingston Hospital. Finishing there, he became chairman of the department of internal medicine at the John F Kennedy Medical Center and professor of medicine at the University of Liberia in Monrovia, Liberia. He published articles on hypertension, excessive use of drugs, and cerebrovascular disease in Liberia.

While he was at school, he had been captain of athletics and high jump champion, and he won both high school and university colours for athletics. Other interests were Indian music and dance, Eastern philosophy and comparative religion.

He married Gnanambikas, a teacher, in 1957 and they had one son and two daughters, one of whom was called Val. His four brothers-in-law were all doctors, as are seven nieces and nephews, three of whom are surgeons.

RCP editor

(Volume XII, page web)

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