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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