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The Induction of President & Siri Wickremesinghe Oration 2018

The Induction of President & Siri Wickremesinghe Oration of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists  was held on the 13th  of February 2018 at 10.30 am at the “Liberty Ballroom, Ramada Colombo”.

Dr. Kushlani Jayatilleke was inducted as the  President of Sri lanka College of Microbiologists . The Orator was Professor N.P. Sunil-Chandra, Senior Professor & Chair 
Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya.

All the members and their spouses were invited to attend the occasion . 



Dr. Kushlani Jayatilleke was inducted as the  President of Sri lanka College of Microbiologists on the 13th of February 2018 at 10.30 am at the “Liberty Ballroom, Ramada Colombo”.

The speech introducing  Dr. Kushlani Jayatilleke was delivered by Dr Enoka Korea the outgoing president of the SLCOM ) .

Sashika Kushlani Jayatilleke had her primary education at Samudradevi Balika Vidyalaya, Nugegoda and her secondary education at Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo, where she was appointed a prefect.

She received her MBBS degree in 1992 from the University of Colombo, with a Distinction in Microbiology. Subsequently she obtained the Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Microbiology from the PGIM, Colombo in 1998, followed by the MD in Medical Microbiology in 2001 from the same institution. She was board certified as a Consultant Microbiologist in January 2003. She completed her overseas training as an Honorary Specialist Registrar at the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK and as a Locum for service Specialist Registrar in Microbiology at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK.

On her return to Sri Lanka she was appointed Consultant Microbiologist at the Teaching Hospital, Kurunegala, followed by a posting to the National Institute of Health Sciences, Kalutara, where she also acted as the offsite consultant to the Kalutara General Hospital, Panadura Base Hospital and the Horana General Hospital. She has been the Consultant Microbiologist at the Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital since 2009.  

Dr Jayatilleke has many years of experience in clinical microbiology, laboratory medicine, bacteriology diagnostic services and laboratory administration. This extensive expertise has been recognized both nationally and internationally. In Sri Lanka, she is Member of the National Advisory Committee for combating Antimicrobial Resistance. She is a trained assessor for Accreditation of Medical Laboratories under ISO 15189 and a member of the Technical Advisory Committee and the expert committee to develop specific criteria of the Accreditation Board of Sri Lanka. She acts as the secretary to the Technical Committee for National Laboratory Based surveillance of antibiotic resistance and is a member of its steering committee. She is a member of the Task Force in Microbiology.  Internationally, she is a Member of the Technical Steering Group, Infection Prevention and Control, WHO, Geneva and a Member of the Guideline Development Group, Infection Prevention and Control, WHO, Geneva.

She has been a loyal member of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists for long period of time serving as the Joint Honorary Secretary in 2006/2007, 2007/2008 and 2009/2010 and as a member of the council over many years. She is a trainer and examiner for the Diploma and MD examinations and is a member of the Board of Study in Microbiology of the PGIM where she is presently the coordinator of the post-MD training programme. She has taken an active role in her profession by participating in the work of the Sri Lanka Medical Association, where she served as an Assistant Secretary. She is currently the Chairperson of the Expert Group on Healthcare Quality and Safety of the SLMA.

She is active in research in infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance and infection control and has 25 publications and 45 presentations to her credit. In this regard, she won a President’s Award for Scientific Publication in 2012. She is an Investigator for the Asian Network for Surveillance of Resistant Pathogens (ANSORP). She has supervised many MD projects and has served as a member of the Board of Examiners for MPhil and PhD examinations.   

Her interests are not restricted to medicine and microbiology. She is a pianist who has passed the Grade 8 examination for the piano and she is a member of the Ethics Review Committee of Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital, Nugegoda.

The Siri Wickremesinghe Oration 2018

The Siri Wickremesinghe Oration was held on Tuesday 13th February 2018 at 10.30 am, at the Liberty Ballroom, Ramada, Colombo.

The Orator was Professor N.P. Sunil-Chandra, Senior Professor & Chair
Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya.

The topic of the oration was ‘One Health approach to studies on plagues in Sri Lanka - Past and Present’.

•  Narapity Pathirannehalage Sunil-Chandra was born on 6th of October 1956. He is a proud product of Sandalanka Central College. He obtained his primary degree in Veterinary Science in 1980 from the Faculty of Medical, Dental & Veterinary Sciences, University of Peradeniya. He obtained his Master of Philosophy (Microbiology) degree from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. In 1991 he received his Doctorate in Virology from the University of Cambridge, UK. He served the post of Post-doctoral research associate in the Division of Immunology, University of Cambridge from 1991-1994.

•  He started his career in Sri Lanka as a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, in 1995 and at present is the Senior Professor & Chair, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, & Chairman, Research Council of the University of Kelaniya

•  He was awarded honorary Fellowship from the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists in 2017

•  He has received many awards and scholarships including Vice Chancellor’s Award Kelaniya for Scientific research and President’s Award - Sri Lanka for Scientific research.

•  He is a member of International and National associations namely few, Life member and Past President of Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists (2006/2007) , Founder member, Executive council member and Vice President of Sri Lanka College of Veterinary Surgeons( 2016/2018) and Member & Country representative of the Asia Pacific Society for Medical Virology (APSMV) 2003-2015.

•  He has many National and International peer reviewed articles in the fields of Virology, Immunology and Medical Microbiology.

Calendar of events for 2017/18- SLCM


Event Dates Venue
Sponsor meeting 24th November 2017 SLMA auditorium
Call for the oration submission 2nd  November 2017- closing on 15th December 2017
Ordinary General Meeting 1- Notice to be sent 7th Dec 2017
Ordinary General Meeting 1 5th Jan 2018 MRI
Induction of president + Siri Wickremesinghe Oration 2018 13th February 2018 Hotel Ramada
Calling abstracts for the ASS closing on 28th February 2018/ early bird registration 30th June 2018
OGM 2- Notice to be sent 6th April 2018
OGM 2 4th May 2018 MRI
Annual Scientific Sessions 2018-

Pre-Congress workshop on Quality assurance and laboratory accreditation in microbiology

8th Aug 2018 Hotel Taj Samudra
Annual Scientific Sessions 2018-


8th Aug 2018 Hotel Taj Samudra
Annual Scientific Sessions 2018- Day 1 9th Aug 2018 Hotel Taj Samudra
Workshop on…. 9th Aug 2018 Hotel Taj Samudra
Annual Scientific Sessions 2017- Day 2 10th  Aug 2018 Hotel Taj Samudra
Annual Scientific Sessions 2018- Post congress workshop- on WHONET 11th Aug 2018 Hotel Taj Samudra
Workshop on Infection prevention and control – training of trainers -50 participants

MOS and ICNs

13th August SLF
Workshop on Infection prevention and control –

2 1/2 day interactive multidisciplinary workshop- 32= 8×4- certificates by a high official

14th , 15th and 16th half day SLF
Meeting to appoint Vice President July 2018 SLCM office
CME lectures and case presentations

(First Fridays)

2 Nov 2017

7 Dec 2017

5 Jan 2018

2 Feb 2018

2 March 2018

6 April 2018

4 May 2018

1 June 2018

6 July 2018

7 Sep 2018

5 Oct 2018

2 Nov 2018

7 Dec 2018

Send notice for AGM 7th September2018
AGM 26th Oct 2018


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.


The National Strategic plan for Combating Antimicrobial Resistance


At the Sixty eighth World Health Assembly in May 2015, the World Health Assembly endorsed a global action plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, the most urgent drug resistance trend.

Antimicrobial resistance is occurring everywhere in the world, compromising our ability to treat infectious diseases, as well as undermining many other advances in health and medicine. The goal of the draft global action plan is to ensure, for as long as possible, continuity of successful treatment and prevention of infectious diseases with effective and safe medicines that are quality-assured, used in a responsible way, and accessible to all who need them.

To achieve this goal, the global action plan sets out five strategic objectives:

  1. Improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance;
  2. Strengthen knowledge through surveillance and research;
  3. Reduce the incidence of infection;
  4. Optimize the use of antimicrobial agents; and
  5. Develop the economic case for sustainable investment that takes account of the needs of all countries, and increase investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other interventions.

Development of this plan was guided by the advice of countries and key stakeholders, based on several multistakeholder consultations at different global and regional forums

In the year 2016, the MoH, in discussion with WHO, requested the SLCM to formulate a draft national action plan to combat AMR for discussion with a wider group of stakeholders. Agreeing to this request, the SLCM appointed a committee comprising of five senior microbiologists, Dr. K. Karunaratne, Dr. N.S. Chandrasiri, Dr. G. Patabendige, Dr. J.P. Elwitigala and Dr. K. Jayatilleke to attend to it.

The SLCM committee achieved this target by producing a draft national action plan and a draft NSP in line with the global action plan.

This draft document was subjected to wide discussion with a multi-sectorial group to produce the final document, with each group completing the areas relevant to each sector.

The National strategic action plan to combat antimicrobial resistance - Sri Lanka was launched in May 2017


The next challenge we face is the effective implementation of the NSP. An all-out effort is needed. As a College, we must extend our fullest support to meet this challenge in our capacity as clinical microbiologists in the hospital and community.

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).


The Global Hand Hygiene Day of WHO – 2017- supported by The Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists

by Dr Kushlani Jayatilleke

Hand hygiene is the core element in Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) in healthcare setting and is very important in combating antibiotic resistance.

Campaigning each year on or around 5 May is one important part of improving behaviour towards IPC best practices, especially hand hygiene.

This year the campaign materials are all co-branded with 'Fight antibiotic resistance - it's in your hands' to demonstrate unity between antimicrobial resistance and IPC efforts. The Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists supported this cause by using the “Photograph promotional board” designed by the WHO.

A presentation on the " Guidelines on core components of infection prevention and control programmes at the national and acute health care facility level of WHO” was done by Dr Kushlani Jayatilleke, Consultant Microbiologist, Sri Jayewardenapura General Hospital, Nugegoda, on 5th of May to the college members.

Prof Tissa Vitarana being awarded the Vidya Jothi Award

The Investiture Ceremony of conferring National Honours on distinguished personalities, who rendered a noble service to the country and its advancement was held on March 20th at the Nelum Pokuna Theater, under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.

These awards were bestowed on the most distinguished persons who have made outstanding contributions to the country and its advancement. At this ceremony, held after 12 years, the President presented national honours to 89 persons lauding their individual contributions in many spheres.

At this ceremony Prof Tissa Vitarana, a Past President and Fellow of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists was awarded the Vidyajothi award. The Vidyajothi award honours outstanding scientific and technological achievements involving original research. The nature of the award is a citation and a silver medal with the symbol of the sun. The number of holders is restricted to fifty.

The President, Council and members of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists would like to congratulate Prof Tissa Vitarana on this notable achievement and for bringing honour to the College.