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:
- Improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance;
- Strengthen knowledge through surveillance and research;
- Reduce the incidence of infection;
- Optimize the use of antimicrobial agents; and
- 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.