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Antibiotic Awareness Week November 2017


WHO declared the week from 13th to 19th November 2017 as the World Antibiotic Awareness week. SLCM repeatedly reminded the membership on this important event and posters in all three languages relevant to this event were distributed among Consultant Microbiologists and Acting Consultant Microbiologists to display in their respective hospitals.

Base Hospital Akkareipattu






District General Hospital Amapara

District General Hospital Negombo

Independent Medical Practitioners Association (IMPA)

Meanwhile, in response to the request made by the President SLCM, to give a time to update members of Independent Medical Practitioners Association (IMPA) on AMR as an activity for Antibiotic Awareness week 2017, the IMPA invited SLCM to partner with IMPA at their medical update programme which was held on Sunday 17th December 2017 from 7.30pm – 9.00pm at the OPA Auditorium. The topic was ‘An update on Antibiotic Resistance’

Following were the Subtopics

  1. Introduction to antimicrobial resistance- by Dilini Nakkawita, Consultant Microbiologist DGH Vauniya
  2. National Action Plan for Anti – Microbial Resistance and the Way Forward- by Dr Kumudu Karunaratne ,Consultant Microbiologist Lady Ridge way Hospital, Colombo 8
  3. Primary Care Physician’s role in combating AMR- Dr Rohini Wadanamby, Consultant Microbiologist Lanka Hospitals. Colombo 5

National Hospital Sri Lanka

The National Hospital of Sri Lanka commemorated the World Antibiotic Awareness Week from 13 – 19 November 2017 with a series of activities to raise awareness among general public and healthcare workers. The activities included awareness programme to Out Patient Department ( OPD) patients, quiz competition to medical officers from ICUs, preparation and displaying the Sinhala translations of WHO antibiotic awareness posters 2017 and another poster on rational use of antibiotics in relevant sections of the hospital, distribution of antibiotic awareness leaflet in Sinhala among OPD patients and healthcare workers.  During the above activities a great emphasis was given to the theme this year “seek advice from a qualified health professional before taking antibiotics” .

The department of microbiology and infection control with the assistance from the department of pharmacy carried out awareness programmes to patients attending to the OPD on 15th and 16th November 2017. The important aspects highlighted were the antibiotic resistance, preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations, importance of not demanding antibiotics from prescribers, following doctor’s advice and never sharing antibiotics, problem of drying pipeline of antibiotics and importance of appropriate use of antibiotics and infection prevention and control with emphasis on hand hygiene.  We further emphasized the fact that misuse of antibiotics puts all of us at risk and also taking antibiotics unnecessarily speeds up antibiotic resistance, making infections more difficult and expensive to treat.

Video clip of a role play prepared at NHSL in two languages namely Sinhala and Tamil with the assistance from the hospital bioinformatics unit which suits the Sri Lankan set up was used for the OPD awareness. Senior registrars, registrars and medical officers in medical microbiology unit acted in the debates which were included in the video clip. This made the event extremely interesting because real problems encountered in the community regarding antibiotics were highlighted. The take home messages of antibiotic use in relation to the public were highlighted by the consultant microbiologist and the senior registrars at the end. Infection control nursing officers made the patients aware about the importance of hand hygiene and demonstrated the technique to them. An educational leaflet in Sinhala was distributed to the patients and there was great enthusiasm from patients to get more information from the medical staff. A number of questions about use of antibiotics were directed to the registrars and senior registrars from patients while distributing them.

The infection control nursing officers took the burden of decorating the background of the event in the OPD with items which were made by themselves amidst limited facilities in the setting to make the event more attractive. The senior medical laboratory technologist and the support staff of the department of microbiology supported immensely in arranging the venue at the OPD at the time of the awareness programme.

A poster highlighting the rational use of antibiotics prepared by the intern pharmacists at NHSL too was displayed at the OPD during the awareness programme. A power point presentation made by the intern pharmacists under the guidance of the consultant microbiologist was displayed in the TV screen of the OPD.

During the week the senior registrars performed an antibiotic quiz competition in medical ICU, surgical ICU and all four neurotrauma ICUs in the hospital using a question paper prepared by the senior registrars under the supervision of the consultant microbiologist. The three highest scorers were presented prizes as an encouragement and appreciating their contribution.

The WHO Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017 posters were translated into Sinhala by one of the medical officers from the department of microbiology with the guidance of the consultant microbiologist. Printed posters were distributed to the relevant departments of the hospital with the idea that this would improve the knowledge, attitudes and practices of patients and healthcare workers when using antibiotics.

Overall, this was a very successful programme which became a reality due to the tireless effort, dedication, commitment and team work of the members of the department of microbiology and infection control and the great support extended by the all medical, nursing and other staff members of the hospital.






Neville Fernando Teaching Hospita and South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine

Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital

Awareness programmes were conducted on the appropriate use of antibiotics mainly targeting public at Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital. Posters in English, Sinhala and Tamil were displayed on notice boards. Awareness talks on antibiotic resistance were done by the Health Education Unit in outpatient department and clinic area. A street drama was produced and acted by the hospital staff during the visiting hours to increase the awareness of the public on antibiotic resistance.


27th Annual Scientific Sessions of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists

International Conference on Infectious Diseases and AntimicrobialResistance –

08th -10th August 2018 at the Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo

Theme - Communicate and collaborate for clinical excellence


Resource persons identified
Foreign faculty:

1) Prof Benedetta Allegranzi, Global IPC unit, WHO, Gneva

2) Dr Benjamin Park, CDC, US

3) Dr John Stelling, WHONET, Boston

4) Prof Malik Peiris, Hong Kong

5) Prof Paul Anantharajah Tambyah , National University of Singapore

6) Prof Shaheen Mehtar, Chair Infection Control Africa Network, South Africa

7) Dr J Shanmugam, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, India

8) Dr Anoma Geraldine Fernando, Consultant Clinical Microbiologist, UK

9) Prof Suranjith Seneviratne, Immunologist, UK

10) Dr Rohan Chinnnaiah, Consultant Clinical Microbiologis

11) Victoria Rutter, Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA)

12) Yvonne Iroegbu, antibiotic pharmacist-UK

13) Dr. Ranganathan Iyer , MD - AFMC Pune – 1993, FRCPath - Royal College Of PathologistsUK

14) Andrew Griffin -Sector Manager - Legal and Clinical Services, National Association ofTesting Authorities, Australia

15) Dr. Ami Neuberger, ID Physician, Israel

16) Dale Fisher, infectious disease clinician resident in Singapore

17) Dr. Shalini Perera, Consultant Microbiologist, Australia


Local faculty:


1) Dr. Rajiva de Silva, Consultant Immunologist, MRI

2) Dr Jude Jayamaha, Consultant Virologist, MRI

The Bulletin of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists – 2017

The Bulletin of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists
Published annually with the Scientific Sessions of the College


Editor : Dr. Roshan Jayasuriya
Editorial Board : Dr. Kanthi Nanayakkara
Dr. Enoka Corea
Dr. Sharmini Gunawardena
Dr. Dhammika Vidanagama
Dr. Thushari Dissanayake
Dr. Nayomi Danthanarayana

Editorial Assistants : Ms. Priyanga Opatha
Ms. Imashi Abeysinghe

Address for correspondence:

Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists
06, Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7.
E-mail: or


Medical exhibition – July 2017- BMICH

The Ceylon College of Physicians is organizing a medical exhibition to celebrate their Golden Jubilee on 14th, 15th and 16th of July 2017 at the BMICH.


The Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists are planning to have a stall in this exhibition under the title “Infections and Antibiotic Resistance”. There will be a competition to assess the knowledge of the public on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and gifts will be given to the winners. Also there will be video and other presentations on AMR and related topics.


The members of the college will also participate in a symposium on the theme “Antibiotic Resistance” on Saturday the 15th from 4-5 pm in the same venue.


Dr. Geethika Patabendige- Microbiologist – NHSL


Dr. Kumudu Karunaratne- Microbiologist- LRH
Dr. Shirani Chandrasiri- Microbiologist- CSTH
Dr Kushlani Jayatilleke- MicrobiologistS- JGH
Dr. Jayanthi Elwitigala– Microbiologist - NSACP
Dr Lakshy Guruparan- Senior Registrar, Microbiology

Book Stall

There will be  a book stall in this exhibition for the display and sale  of publications by medical doctors.

The membership can use this opportunity to display/sell any type of medical or non-medical books authored by our members.

 For Further Details please contact the College Office or Dr. Kushlani Jayatilleke, (Consultant Microbiologist, Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital).


Launching ceremony of The National Guidelines on Empirical and Prophylactic use of Antimicrobials

The National Guidelines on Empirical and Prophylactic use of Antimicrobials was launched at a ceremony held on 17th of November 2016 at the Sri Lanka Foundation, No 100, Sri Lanka Foundation Avenue, Colombo, with Dr. Rajitha Senarathne, Hon. Minister of Health as the Chief Guest.

Welcoming the guests, Dr. B. V. S. H. Beneragama, Deputy Director General of Laboratory Services, Ministry of Health, gave an overview of the activities carried out for combating Antimicrobial Resistance by the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka along with the WHO and other stakeholders.

Dr Jacob Kumaresan, WHO representative to Sri Lanka then addressed the gathering.

In a recorded video message, Dr Kumudu Karunaratne, Chairperson of the Subcommittee of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists which was appointed to coordinate the compiling of this guideline, explained the process for developing these guidelines and thanked all those who helped in this activity.



Dr Kushlani Jayatilleke, Consultant Microbiologist, then did a presentation on the problem of antibiotic resistance and what can be done to solve this.

Dr. P. G. Maheepala, Director General of Health Services, then addressed the gathering.

The first book of “The Empirical and Prophylactic use of Antimicrobials, National Guidelines -2016” was presented to the Hon. Minister of Health, Dr. Rajitha Senarathne, by the Presidents of professional Colleges involved in their development, namely Dr Kanthi Nanayakkara of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists, Dr Ranjan Dias of the College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka and Dr. A. LakKumar Fernando of Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians.

Dr. Rajitha Senarathne, Hon. Minister of Health, then addressed the gathering. He explained what he and the government has done so far for combating antimicrobial resistance in Sri Lanka.

Dr. Kamal Jayasinghe, CEO-National Medicines Regulatory Authority delivered the vote of thanks.

Download Antibiotic Guidelines 2016

Design, Development and Implementation of a Laboratory Information Management software (LIMS)

There are over 40 microbiology laboratories (diagnostic and referral) in the government health sector in Sri Lanka . All these laboratories use paper based processes to carry out their functions.

The ministry of health and the Sri Lanka Collage of Microbiologists has initiated the process to move away from the paper based system and to implement a common Laboratory Information Management System(LIMS) in all state sector microbiology laboratories .

This will be implemented in three phases.

Phase 1

Development of a basic laboratory information management system to be deployed at NIHS Kalutara.

Phase 2

Expansion of the LIMS developed in phase 1 with additional modules such as – Inventory management, Document management, Quality management etc .

Phase 3

Deployment of the expanded LIMS developed in phase 1+2 to other laboratories situated at state health sector institutes.

The first phase (Phase 1) of this initiative will be to implement and Maintain a Laboratory Information Management Software (LIMS) at the National Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) situated in Nagoda, Kalutara.

Phase 1

Development of a basic laboratory information management system to be deployed at NIHS Kalutara  is expected to be initiated in March 2017. 


Combating Antimicrobial Resistance- In Sri Lanka

Update on activities for combating antimicrobial resistance- In Sri Lanka

The following members represent SLCM at meetings related to AMR activities.

  1. Jayanthi.P. Elwitigala – Consultant Microbiologist     –          NSACP
  2. KumuduKarunaratne – Consultant Microbiologist     –          LRH
  3. Shirani Chandrasiri –Consultant Microbiologist      –          CSTH
  4. GeethikaPatabendige – Consultant Microbiologist     –          NHSL
  5. KushlaniJayatilleke – Consultant Microbiologist     –          SJH

This core group developed the draft National Action Plan (NAP) in line with the five strategic objectives of the global action plan to combat AMR and submitted the document to WHOand Ministry of Health (MoH). This draft was further developed by veterinary and agriculture sector and was discussed at the National advisory committee meetings (NAC_AMR).

DDGLS was identified as the focal point of AMR activities. NAC-AMR is considered the apex body for decision making for national AMR activities. NAC-AMR comprise of 51 members representing MoH, professional colleges, veterinary, agriculture and fishery. It is chaired by DGHS and co-chairs were identified from veterinary and agriculture sectors. NAP implementation strengthening team ( NAP-IST) comprising of 21 members of the advisory committee was identified to help implement activities.

MoH and WHO identified SLCM as the coordinating body to develop and implement NAP.  The task allocated to the college by the WHO is for a period of 6 months starting from July 2016. As you are aware National strategic action plan for combating AMR is finalized now. National strategic action plan was emailed to all specialists. Specialists and senior registrars of our college have already been updated at the meetings held on 30th September and 07th October.  An AMR awareness programme needs to be conducted by the college before the end of this year to other professional colleges. The college would require active involvement of specialists in our college to plan and implement many activities identified in the NAP.

Currently the AMR core group is in the process of developing the timeline of the National strategic action plan and the operational plan.

In addition college is in the process of drafting anation policy to combat AMR which is to be finalized by the NAC-AMR and subsequently submitted as a cabinet paper jointly by human, animal and agriculture sector.

Further to this DDGLS, MoH is planning AMR awareness programmes in provinces. Funds are expected to be given to the selected hospitals and the consultant microbiologist is expected to take a leading role in coordination. AMR core group members participated at a meeting at the WHO country office where a situational analysis on AMR in Sri Lanka was done by a team visited from WHO.  The WHO team will hand over the report to MoH.

MoH is also very keen in introducing a system to restrict prescribing of antibiotics in the hospital. As an initiative a meeting was held with professional colleges regarding implementing antibiotic stewardship pprogramme in hospitals. In phase I, red light antibiotics which requires prior approval of microbiologist for prescription was discussed and at the time of writing this MoH is in the process of obtaining suggestions and comments from professional colleges on the list identified at the meeting.

Apart from this launching of the booklet, ‘Empirical and prophylactic use of antimicrobials- National guidelines -2016’ is scheduled to be held on 17th of November 2016. Launching is organized by the MoH.

AMR core group

Message from the President 2017-2018

It is indeed an honour and a privilege to be appointed as the president of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists for the year 2017-18.

I would like to congratulate the past presidents, the councils and all the members of the college for the mammoth tasks completed and started in the previous years.

The contribution made by the college in developing and publishing the “National Strategic Plan for combating Antimicrobial Resistance in Sri Lanka” is commendable. As we need to implement this Strategic Plan and also other Asian countries have the problem of Antimicrobial Resistance at a great magnitude, along with my council and other members I am planning an International Conference on Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) from 08th to 10th August 2018 at the Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo.

As the education and training of clinicians, primary care physicians as well as other categories of healthcare personnel are of great importance to combat AMR, I am having the theme for this year as “Communicate and collaborate for clinical excellence”. With this in mind I am organising the above conference with many partners such as Sri Lanka Medical Association, Ceylon College of Physicians and hope to have workshops on Laboratory accreditation, Infection Prevention and Control and AMR for nurses, pharmacists and laboratory personnel in parallel to the main conference.

During the World Antibiotic Awareness Week the college printed and distributed posters for public awareness on AMR. The Facebook page of the college was used to disseminate messages on AMR. I also plan to have regular health messages related to infectious diseases published in the Facebook page of the college.

In addition to this the college will continue the other projects which were started in the previous years. I hope that we will be able to complete and publish National Infection Prevention and Control guidelines during this year with the support of the Ministry of Health. Another important task that I hope to complete this year is to publish the revised Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) manual for the use of IPC doctors, nurses and other staff working in Sri Lankan hospitals.

I plan to continue the Continuous Medical Education Programmes and other regular activities as in the past and hope I will get support from the council and members of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists as well as other professional colleges to carry out these activities.

Dr Kushlani Jayatilleke,
MBBS (Colombo), Diploma in Medical Microbiology, MD in Medical Microbiology
Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists