Neelika Malavige, Professor of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, is one of the pioneers in corona epidemic control these days. Her husband Lasantha Malavige is also a specialist doctor and the well-known ‘Lassana Flora’ business owner.
This is an investigation into the role that Neelika plays at home as a mother and wife and her husband and other family members.
“I am the eldest in our family: my sister and brother and I. When I was a child, I was in many places to work for my mom and dad. Mom and Dad are doctors by profession.”
“My first school trip was when my parents went to England for further education. It was a very stressful time for me as a child. I was the only white boy in the whole school. Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. All those persecutions I experienced during those few years. “
“The sweetest life experience of my childhood comes after coming to Sri Lanka. Both mother and father were sent to Anuradhapura. First I went to school in Sri Lanka at Swarnapali Balika Vidyalaya, Anuradhapura. Entered the third class. In those days, it was the Anuradhapura Convent.”
That time is real life. Our house was on the top of Kandy lake. A large garden. There were seven mango trees in our garden. We did not have the problems that our children have today. It was a time when I did not know what tuition was. Even though it was getting dark, they did not stop playing until their parents came and shouted at them.”
“I came to Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo from Anuradhapura and passed the scholarship examination. At school, I formally turned to sports. I represented the school netball team from the beginning. I was engaged in athletics. I still like to play sports today,” she says with a beautiful sense of humour.
Prof. Neelika Malavige’s beloved husband is a well-known figure in the country. He is Dr Lasantha Malavige, a specialist. No one in this country does not know about the Lassana Flora, one of the foremost artistic florists in Sri Lanka. Specialist Dr Lasantha Malavige is the founder of this enormous business. Owner. I asked her about the endless experience of being the wife of an art specialist.
“He is a wonderful man. We still make room and run to the beach. Coming home from Wellawatte to Mt. Lavinia along the beach and bathing in the white sand that comes with the seawater.
People do not live trapped. Share life with nature. I teach my children that truth too. The four of us go on a vacation and go hiking. I directed them to sports. I think that difference also made education easier for them. They also learned to enjoy life freely. The eldest child is currently a first-year student at the Colombo Medical College.”
Prof. Dr Lasantha Malavige meets Prof. Nilika Malavige at the Medical Faculty of the University of Colombo. They first met on the day of the first autopsy experience, which gives medical students practical experience in anatomy.
“We have to dissect corpses to study anatomy in practice at the medical faculty. We team-up. Each team has one senior student one year older than us. He was the oldest student in my group. “
“After that …?”. I asked.
“We became lovers about a month later. And then we were in love.”
Again her light smile filled me. I wanted to ask what was the special reason that led me to become addicted to him.
“He has very different views. Such a person cannot be found in a medical faculty. A person who likes the challenges of free artistic ideas, who thinks anew, who is not a serious character who is trapped in a book. Surprisingly they are similar to my thoughts and wishes. He started Beautiful Flora in his second year of university. I accompany him when he walks to flower shops in Pettah for flower arrangements and when he goes to Weweldeniya to look for baskets. That diversity is so quirky. When he starts and builds the beautiful Flora, we meet characters who are completely different from our profession. We renewed that experience. We got married after leaving university.”
She began her career as a doctor and is currently a renowned Professor of Molecular Biology.
It wasn’t until she graduated from Oxford University that she realized that subject was her life’s ambition.
“Our childhood was spent in an era without television. But when my parents went to England to study, there was a television in that country. I was deeply grateful to David Atembarro, a zoologist at the time. It was at that point that I heard I wanted to be a scientist. But the medical profession is the definite end of science education in Sri Lanka.”
“But after finishing my university life and ending my internship, I had the highest marks of our year. I got a scholarship to do a doctorate at Oxford University. That was in 2004. “
“It wasn’t until I went to Oxford for my PhD that I realized that immunology was my favourite thing in life. I wanted to know how our body builds immunity against viruses and how to fight them. It was a wonderful experience to go there and participate in experiments. I can’t wait to go to work the day before to get the test results done the day before. “
“My PhD supervisor in Oxford is Professor Graham Folk. I still connect with him daily. We do all this research with Oxford University. The same was true before the Kids. “
“At the same time, we have to say about our academic sector. There are a lot of great people in our industry. Dr Chandima is a living person. I have worked with him for ten years. And there are a large number of laboratory technicians who make unimaginable sacrifices. They do this work with me as much as I do. Their commitment is not something they do for pleasure. They work for a greater sense of humanity. “
Professor Malawi had an immense contribution to the country by directing this vast human resource. Before Kovid came to this country, she joined the University of Oxford and was one of the world’s leading researchers on dengue.
“Kids have an enormity. But there is no vaccine for the dengue that has plagued us so much. At that time, the media was not so open about what we did. Dengue can be fatal with dengue haemorrhage. It is caused by fluid leaking from the cells. We searched for the reason. We looked at how immunity to dengue develops. Most were infected, and only a few were trying to figure out why it was so severe. The Kovid epidemic began as the world’s drugs were being successfully tested for dengue hemorrhagic fever.
I will speak from the side of the immune system. In terms of immunity, there are many similarities between Kovid and dengue.
Dengue is deadly, and Kovid is deadly, but there is no problem for the vast majority of those who contract the disease. Very few people develop a life-threatening condition such as dengue haemorrhage or pneumonia. The percentage of Covid patients with severe symptoms is indeed relatively higher than that of Covid in Alta. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.
I asked about our research preparation for Kovid. Where is it?
“The media is spreading the word about what kind of Kovid varieties we have discovered in our research. But Kovid does a lot of complicated work. We do not know how the bodies of Sri Lankans react to each of these vaccines. We do not know how each Kovid strain responds, we are investigating. Because like these, the Kovid varieties before us are new.”
“Kovid is constantly updating our research experience. With the advent of new virus strains, we need to test the speed at which the virus adapts. If we do not do such tests, the virus will overtake us. “She is OK.
“We have a great plague. We will have to live longer with this catastrophe. What should we do?” I asked a question that needed to be asked.
“Kovid came in December 2019. Now the disease is spreading in the world. This is like stopping a rapidly spreading cold. Covers have a very successful vaccine in good time. “
“These vaccines are effective in counteracting the ill effects of Kovid pneumonia and other effects on the immune system. That’s the way it is with any vaccine. The only scientific way to deal with this is to vaccinate the majority of the population.”
“You have to understand this. The World Health Organization does not approve of any vaccine without considering all aspects of the extremely sensitive issue of safety. The first thing any accredited drug regulator will consider is not how effective the vaccine is, but how safe it is.”
“It is best to get a Kovid vaccine as soon as possible rather than worrying about hypothetical side effects. Countries around the world have now discovered that Kovid can have long-term side effects. Kovid vaccine has also been shown to be effective. I think the most important thing is to get vaccinated. That is the only option. “
There is a great deal of vast knowledge that fits in with each other. I wonder how this knowledge that needs to be integrated into a book can be grouped into a short word range in an article. Every moment was adding something to live. That’s why I love every second of it so much. I have to say goodbye to her now. I ended the conversation by asking about something that this general society does not understand.
“You both lead busy lives. How do you find time for yourself?” She returned to her usual lightness.
“Everyone is busy but can find time for essential things. My life is important to me, my family is essential. My health is important. The Buddha said that the most significant benefit is health. My two children are significant to me. It doesn’t matter who I am if I can’t make time for them. I have not neglected to feed and teach my two children since childhood. My husband has this understanding too. “
“Let me tell you a little story. When the kids go to school, I cook. I need to make two meals. When my son was five, his friends said this one day.
“Your mother was a doctor of crime. If I had become a chef, my mother would have had a better future.” We both laughed at Cox.
The living voice of the Infinite Woman, whose joy remains, still seems to resonate in my ears. In the end, there is something to be said. If you want an example of a successful woman, look at Professor Neelika Malawi.
Tania Moses (Silumina)