"Managing Challenges of NCD: Whole Society Approach"


We are delighted and privileged to bring this message to the International Medical Undergraduate Research Conference (IMURC) 2020 organized by the Department of Community Medicine of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.

Undergraduates often have limited opportunities to showcase their research. We have long realized this and started IMURC in 2019 to create a platform for the medical undergraduates to present their research findings to an international audience. We expected them to benefit from this exposure by enhancing their skills and overall research experience and using this as a stepping-stone to further their research prospects. Our efforts last year attracted a large number of undergraduates from medical and health sciences from several countries. Their research findings were presented under several themes and awards were given to some of the best presentations. The participants were able to share their research with their international colleagues and faculty, benefit from speeches, comments and observations from globally-renowned researchers and establish international networks. Realising first-hand the benefits the undergraduates received from this exposure at IMURC 2019, we are now moving forward to the next IMURC which will be held in March 2020.

The theme of IMURC 2020, "Managing Challenges of Non-Communicable Diseases: Whole Society approach" is fitting to the current challenges that we face. Globally, the burden of the non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is rising in terms of morbidity, mortality, and poor quality of life. The conventional approaches to manage this burden, especially in the low - and middle-income countries, have not delivered expected results. This calls for innovative approaches to counter the rise of NCDs, one of which is the 'whole Society approach'. This approach will ensure that the total population in a country or region is geared to and hold stakes in addressing the challenges posed by the current trends of NCDs.

We hope that IMURC 2020 would build on IMURC 2019 and attract budding researchers from many other countries than IMURC 2019 did. In addition to providing a platform for dissemination of undergraduate research to a global audience, we also plan to inspire the next generation of medical practitioners and researchers with the thoughts and experience of eminent international professionals. We invite medical undergraduates worldwide to make use of this opportunity to engage with their international counterparts and faculty to share research and experience, and initiate connections that may go a long way into the future careers.

Department of Community Medicine
Faculty of Medical Sciences
University of Sri Jayewardenepura