Wijaya Godakumbura

1998 Laureate, Science & Health
Sri Lanka


Project Goal

Prevent severe burns by replacing dangerous lamps

Location: Sri Lanka

"Where is the sense in preventing disease if we do not also seek to prevent injury that is equally destructive of people’s lives?"

For more than a decade, a resolute surgeon in Sri Lanka has battled apathy and ignorance to save people from disfigurement and death by fire caused by home-made lamps. Wijaya Godakumbura, who won a Rolex Award in 1998, has a simple solution to this devastating problem — the Safe Bottle Lamp.

1.5 million

homes in Sri Lanka without electricity


of all domestic burn cases in Sri Lanka caused by unsafe lamps


average number of lamp-burn deaths per week in Sri Lanka


safe lamps distributed by 2004

Other 1998 Laureates