The newly elected President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, is a member of the 2013 cohort of health ministers participating in the MILH Program. He served as health minister from 2010 to 2015. During his tenure as health minister, President Sirisena was responsible for introducing the first comprehensive national drugs policy for Sri Lanka. He also succeeded in legislating health risk warnings on all tobacco products.
When Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda participated in the June 2014 MLIH Health Ministers’ Forum at Harvard he had little inkling that he would be appointed Prime Minister within weeks of his return to Uganda. Dr. Rugunda has held cabinet level positions in the Ugandan government since 1986, but as a trained physician he says he most cherished his short tenure as health minister. His principal mission as health minister to improve the efficiency and quality of public health care now is also a central goal of his administration.