National Laboratory Based Surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (NLBSA)


A meeting was held on 20th May 2011 at the Ministry of Health for all the Consultant Microbiologists, Professors and the Senior Lecturers in Microbiology in Faculties of Medicine in Sri Lanka, to organize a National Laboratory Based Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance.

The Director General of Health Services, the DDG/LS, Director (LS), Director (MT&S) and many microbiologists from the hospitals and universities of Sri Lanka participated at this meeting.

A steering committee and a technical committee were appointed and the technical committee was advised to submit an action plan to the steering committee, which in turn will make necessary recommendations to DGHS for action.

Dr M G P Samarasinghe (DDG/LS) and DrHemanthaBenaragama (Director/MT&S) were appointed as the chairman and the Secretary of the steering committee.

The other members of the steering committee were Dr V S P Pannila (Director/LS), DrKanthiAriyarathna (Director/PHSD), Dr Kamal Jayasinghe (Director/MSD), Dr C G U Patabandige (Consultant Microbiologist/NCIM), DrPranithaSomaratne (The President/ Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists), DrPhilominaChandrasiri ( Consultant Microbiologist/NHSL), Prof V Thevanesam ( Prof of Microbiology, University of Peradeniya), DrKushlaniJayatilleke (Consultant Microbiologist/SJGH), DrDhammikaVidanagama (Consultant Microbiologist/ TH Karapitiya) and DrKumuduKarunaratne (Chairperson of the Technical committee).

The technical committee comprised of all the consultant Microbiologists and the Professors and Senior Lecturers in Microbiology in Faculties of Medicine in Sri Lanka. Dr Kumudu Karunaratne and Dr Kushlani Jayatilleke were appointed as the chairperson and the secretary of this committee respectively.

Subsequently the technical committee appointed a co-chair (President of the college) and a co-secretary (Secretary of ARSP). Dr. Philomena Chandrasiri was appointed as the co-chair and Dr. Jayanthi Elwitigala was appointed as the co-secretary.


The first technical committee meeting was held at path lab auditorium of NHSL on June 13, 2011 with wide participation of members both from state sector hospitals and universities including Jaffna.

It was planned to commence data entry to WHONET microbiology software in all hospitals and universities with consultant microbiologists, on isolates from midstream urine specimens which has a colony count of ≥ 105 CFU/ml, from the 1st January 2012.

Several workshops were conducted to train the microbiologists and the other staff of microbiology laboratories on WHONET use.

A needs assessment was done by filling up a questionnaire by the Consultant Microbiologists. DDGLS of Ministry of Health informed the inability to provide data entry operators due to non- existence of such a cadre.

However due to various constraints only Lady Ridgeway Hospital Colombo, Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama, Sri Jayawardenapura General Hospital, Nugegoda, Peradeniya Teaching Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Ragama were able to  enter data as planned.

Status – 2014

In 2014, the council decided to analyse the data of 2013 entered to WHONET by centres and to submit a paper to be presented at the Annual Scientific Sessions of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists 2014.

The data were received from Lady Ridgeway Hospital Colombo, Sri Jayawardenapura General Hospital, Nugegoda, Faculty of Medicine, Colombo and Faculty of Medicine, Ragama.

This data was analysed and an abstract was presented and accepted for an oral presentation for the Annual Scientific Sessions of the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists 2014.

Current Status 




DrKushlaniJayatilleke (Consultant Microbiologist/SJGH)



Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases 2016 Vol.6 (1):17-24;DOI:


National Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance
Report to Ministry of Health  , was handed over to the DGHS  on 13/02/2015 .

Download the Report