Kolitha Wickramage

Dr Kolitha Wickramage

Global Health Research and Epidemiology Coordinator, Migration Health Division
Institution: International Organization for Migration, UN Migration Agency
Current Insitution Location: Philippines

Email: kwickramage@iom.int
Phone Number: 63-2-2301631

28/F Citibank Tower, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, Philippines

Migration Health Research Area/Expertise:
Dr. Kol Wickramage is the UN Migration Agencies’ Global Health Research and Epidemiology Coordinator responsible for providing technical guidance on research and evidence generation across IOM’s three health programmatic areas: medical examinations for migrants and refugees; technical cooperation on migration health with member states; and health action in humanitarian and post-crisis contexts. He worked with WHO from 2004 in health action in crisis projects, from protracted civil conflict to natural disaster settings, and since joining IOM in 2009, has worked on a broad spectrum of migration health projects predominantly in low-income countries - ranging from the West-African Ebola outbreak response, multi-country research on health impacts of low-skilled migrant workers and their families in Asia, to supporting member states formulate health policies, interventions and research at the nexus of migration and health. He received Presidential honors in Sri Lanka for his research work and advancing a national migration health policy through an evidence-informed, inter-ministerial process. Dr. Wickramage co-founded a global migration health scholars' network in 2016 and is passionate about supporting research scholarship, especially within developing regions.

Research Focus/Expertise on Relevant Migrant Categories:
Internal Migration
Internally displaced persons (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)
Left-behind migrant families (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)
Migrant Workers (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)

International/Cross-Border Migration
Human smuggling (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)
Human trafficking (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)
Humanitarian entrants/ Refugee resettlement programs (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)
International migrant workers (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)
Refugees (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)
Asylum seekers (Children, Adolescents, Adults, Elderly)

General Research Focus/Expertise: 
Community participation in health
Disaster preparedness and response
Evidence-based reviews
Health and human rights
Health assessment/ medical examination
Health diplomacy/ international relations
Health policy
Health systems research
Humanitarian health interventions
Immigration health examinations
Internal medicine - pediatrics
International health regulations
Labour migration and health
Mental health
Non-communicable diseases (NCD)
Primary health care
Refugee health
Research ethics
Violence and health

Relevant Projects

Title Year Published Region/Country Role in the Project Main Outcome Link to Study Reports and publications
Impact of Migration on Left Behind Children and Families in Cambodia 2017 Asia and the PacificCambodia
Co-chair of National Migration Health Research agenda for internal, inbound, outbound migrants and families left behind 2012 Asia and the PacificSri Lanka A major commission that produced over 20 technical reports and publications led by an interdisciplinary approach and contributed to formulating the National Migration Health Policy and Action plan of Sri Lanka.

Relevant Publications

Title Author Year Published Link to Publication
Migration Health Research to advance evidence based policy and practice in Sri Lanka Wickramage, K., Mosca, D. and Peiris, S. (Eds.) International Organization for Migration 2017
Are left-behind families of migrant workers at increased risk of attempted suicide?–a cohort study of 178,000+ individuals in Sri Lanka Duleeka Knipe, Helen Lambert, Melissa Pearson, Michael Eddleston, Shaluka Jayamanne, Kolitha Wickramage, Keith Hawton, Flemming Konradsen, Chris Metcalfe and David Gunnell 2019
Children and adolescents on the move: what does the Global Compact for Migration mean for their health? Delan Devakumar, Neal Russell, Lisa Murphy, Kolitha Wickramage, Susan M Sawyer, Ibrahim Abubakar 2019
Advancing health in migration governance, and migration in health governance Kolitha Wickramage, Giuseppe Annunziata 2018
Infectious disease testing of UK-bound refugees: a population-based, cross-sectional study AF Crawshaw, M Pareek, J Were, S Schillinger, O Gorbacheva, K Wickramage, S Mandal, V Delpech, N Gill, H Kirkbride, D Zenner 2018
Migration and health: a global public health research priority K Wickramage, J Vearey, AB Zwi, C Robinson, M Knipper 2018
Bibliometric analysis of global migration health research in peer-reviewed literature (2000–2016) WM Sweileh, K Wickramage, K Pottie, C Hui, B Roberts, AF Sawalha, SH Zyoud 2018
Health status of returning refugees, internally displaced persons, and the host community in a post-conflict district in northern Sri Lanka: a cross-sectional survey R Burns, K Wickramage, A Musah, C Siriwardhana, F Checchi 2018
The need for an evidence-informed, multi-sectoral and community participatory action framework to address the practice of female genital mutilation in Sri Lanka K Wickramage, L Senanayake, N Mapitigama, J Karunasinghe, E Teagal 2018
Missing: where are the migrants in pandemic influenza preparedness plans? K Wickramage, LO Gostin, E Friedman, P Prakongsai, R Suphanchaimat, C Hui, P Duigan, E Barragan, DR Harper 2018
Health status of returning refugees, internally displaced persons, and the host community in a post-conflict district in Northern Sri Lanka: a cross-sectional survey R Burns, K Wickramage, F Checchi 2018
Reflections on migrant and refugee health in Malaysia and the ASEAN region NS Pocock, R Suphanchaimat, CK Chan, EM Faller, N Harrigan, V Pillai, K Wickramage 2018
Leveraging the Domain of Work to Improve Migrant Health MA Flynn, K Wickramage 2017
Migration and health in the Sustainable Development Goals E Barragan, D Poonam, J Puebla Fortier, D Mosca, J Weekers, K Wickramage 2017
A global research agenda on migration, mobility, and health J Hanefeld, J Vearey, N Lunt, S Bell, K Blanchet, D Duclos, L Ghilardi, D Horsfall, N Howard, JH Adams, M Kamndaya, C Lynch, T Makandwa, N McGrath, M Modesinyane, K O'Donnell, C Siriwardhana, R Smith, A Testa, K Vanyoro, H Walls, K Wickramage, C Zimmerman 2017
Building responsive health systems to help communities affected by migration: an international Delphi consensus K Pottie, C Hui, P Rahman, D Ingleby, EA Akl, G Russell, L Ling, K Wickramage, D Mosca, CD Brindis 2017
Patterns of abuse amongst Sri Lankan women returning home after working as domestic maids in the Middle East: An exploratory study of medico-legal referrals K Wickramage, M De Silva, S Peiris 2017
Is Sri Lanka prepared for yellow fever outbreaks? A case study K Wickramage, SB Agampodi, D Mosca, S Peiris 2016
Mental health of migrants in low-skilled work and the families they leave behind K Wickramage, C Siriwardhana 2016
What effect does international migration have on the nutritional status and child care practices of children left behind? R Jayatissa, K Wickramage 2016
Mental distress and potentially modifiable social factors in post-conflict Sri Lanka C Siriwardhana, K Wickramage 2016
Are non yellow fever endemic countries prepared for possible yellow fever outbreaks?: A case study on border health surveillance from Sri Lanka K Wickramage 2016
Health issues affecting female internal migrant workers: A systematic review U Senarath, K Wickramage, S Peiris 2016
Common mental disorders among adult members of ‘left-behind’international migrant worker families in Sri Lanka C Siriwardhana, K Wickramage, S Siribaddana, P Vidanapathirana, B Jayasekara, S Weerawarna, G Pannala, A Adikari, K Jayaweera, S Peiris, A Sumathipala 2015
Risk of mental health and nutritional problems for left-behind children of international labor migrants K Wickramage, C Siriwardhana, P Vidanapathirana, S Weerawarna, B Jayasekara, G Pannala, A Adikari, K Jayaweera, S Peiris, S Siribaddana, A Sumathipala 2015
Knowledge and perceptions on responsive feeding among primary health care providers at field level in rural Anuradhapura N Karunamuni, S Senevirathne, P Pallewaththa, R Rathnayake, K Wickramage, SB Agampodi, TC Agampodi 2015
Responsive feeding practices among caregivers in rural Anuradhapura; a missing component in infant feeding! S Senevirathne, N Karunamuni, P Pallewaththa, R Rathnayake, K Wickramage, SB Agampodi, TC Agampodi 2015
Impact of economic labour migration: A qualitative exploration of left-behind family member perspectives in Sri Lanka C Siriwardhana, K Wickramage, K Jayaweera, A Adikari, S Weerawarna, T Van Bortel, S Siribaddana, A Sumathipala 2015
Recovering from the Ebola Crisis: International Organization for Migration (IOM) Strategic Framework for Action 2015 – 2017 K Wickramage 2015
Promoting the health of left-behind children of Asian labour migrants: Evidence for policy and action K Wickramage, C Siriwardhana, S Pieris 2015
Mapping the use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests in a country entering elimination K Wickramage, S Peiris 2015
Conflict, forced displacement and health in Sri Lanka: a review of the research landscape C Siriwardhana, K Wickramage 2014
Globalization of leptospirosis through travel and migration M Bandara, M Ananda, K Wickramage, E Berger, S Agampodi 2014
Prevalence of depression and its associated factors among patients attending primary care settings in the post-conflict Northern Province in Sri Lanka: a cross-sectional study U Senarath, K Wickramage, SL Peiris 2014
Maternal mortality revisited: the application of the new ICD-MM classification system in reference to maternal deaths in Sri Lanka S Agampodi, K Wickramage, T Agampodi, U Thennakoon, N Jayathilaka, D Karunarathna, S Alagiyawanna 2014
The challenge of establishing an evidence-based and migrant sensitive approach to tuberculosis screening of inbound migrants to Sri Lanka S Samaraweera, K Wickramage 2014
Can migration health assessments become a mechanism for global public health good? K Wickramage, D Mosca 2014
Analysis of the domestic legal framework in relation to the right to health for internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka K Wickramage, W Senavirathne 2014
High attack rate for malaria through irregular migration routes to a country on verge of elimination K Wickramage, RG Premaratne, SL Peiris, D Mosca 2013
Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis in a foreign resident visa holder and implications of a growing inbound migrant flow to Sri Lanka K Wickramage, S Samaraweera, S Peiris, J Elvitigala, D Patabendige 2013
Malaria burden in irregular migrants returning to Sri Lanka from human smuggling operations in West Africa and implications for a country reaching malaria elimination K Wickramage, GNL Galappaththy 2013
Health Work for Shared Societies K Wickramage 2013
Is there a risk of yellow fever virus transmission in South Asian countries with hyperendemic dengue? SB Agampodi, K Wickramage 2013
Irregular migration as a potential source of malaria reintroduction in Sri Lanka and use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests at point-of-entry screening K Wickramage, GNL Galappaththy, D Dayarathne, SL Peiris, RN Basnayake, D Mosca, J Jacobs 2013
“Don’t forget the migrants”: exploring preparedness and response strategies to combat the potential spread of MERS-CoV virus through migrant workers in Sri Lanka K Wickramage, S Peiris, SB Agampodi 2013
Textbox 3: Strengthening Migration Health Management in Sri Lanka IOM GenevaIOM Sri Lanka 2012
(A194)“Displaced Voices”: Are those Displaced by War Satisfied with the Provision and Quality of Health Care they Received? K Wickramage, R Surentrikumaran 2011
(P1-109) Violence, Health and Human Rights: Analysis of the Right to Health for Conflict Displaced Persons Living In IDP Camps in Northern Sri Lanka K Wickramage, A Zwi 2011
(A170) Health Sector Coordination Following Civil Conflict in Sri Lanka, 2009 K Wickramage, T Ranasinghe, EK Vithana, H Herath 2011
(A257) Enhancing Human Resources for Health in Crisis: Experience from the War-Affected Districts of Sri Lanka K Wickramage, T Ranasinghe, A Zwi 2011
Mental health in Sri Lanka: Evaluation of the impact of the Community Support Offiers (CSO) in mental health service provision at District Level K Wickramage, J Mahoney, J De Silva, P Mendis, M Ganesan, V Chandra 2010
Community participatory methods in disease surveillance and public health in war-affected camps, and its potential contribution to peace building K Wickramage, P Nellapalli 2008
Hands in relief, eyes on development: Challenges and community responses in the delivery of humanitarian aid in conflict affected and tsunami ravaged districts in Northern Sri Lanka K Wickramage 2007
Building the capacity for health promotion in resource poor, tsunami devastated and conflict ravaged zones K Wickramage 2006
Sri Lanka's post-tsunami psychosocial playground: lessons for future psychosocial programming and interventions following disasters K Wickramage 2006