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World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

Dr. Geethika Patabendige
President/SLCM

          World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is an annual global advocacy week which is commemorated from 18 – 24 November 2021, dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), its consequences and its prevention and control to encourage all stake holders namely policy makers, healthcare providers and the general public to recognize that everyone can be an AMR Awareness champion. This week also reminds all that AMR is a global health issue and concerted effort would help minimize the morbidity and mortality due to sepsis. All stakeholders can make use of this golden opportunity to take part in activities which raise consciousness about AMR which ultimately help saving lives. The educational activities of the week demonstrate how the actions of individuals, families, professionals and communities affect the spread of AMR and the week is regarded as the perfect time to educate all on this topic of AMR.

The theme of WAAW 2021 is ‘ Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance ’ which is very timely in the era of increasing trend of multidrug resistant and pan-drug resistant microorganisms causing difficult-to-treat infections in healthcare as well as in community setting. The overarching slogan of WAAW continues to be ‘ Antimicrobials: Handle with Care ’.

As the key professional body involved in antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobials, the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists (SLCM) has taken steps to increase the awareness on AMR during this week, through the precious resource which includes many specialties, subspecialties, and the multi-talented energetic membership by several means.

I would like to list some of the activities already planned and the rest will be updated once new activities are planned soon.

  • Distribution of leaflets to public in disseminating knowledge on AMR
  • Posting key messages/ posters on AMR through social media
  • Updating the Facebook page SLCM with AMR material
  • Distribution of a short article on AMR in three languages to school children through provincial consultant microbiologists/virologists.
  • Disseminating knowledge and increasing enthusiasm of stakeholders through short messages, stories and articles to public/ patients/families in print and electronic media.