Sri Lanka receives funding boost to tackle AMR

Sri Lanka has received a significant boost to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), one of the biggest public health threats the world now faces. The Fleming Fund has pledged assistance to launch a national campaign in Sri Lanka to combat this global problem. Launched in 2015 by the UK Department of Health, the Fleming Fund is a £ 265 million pound (GBP) programme designed to support low and middle income countries (LMICs) combat AMR.

AMR leads to the death of around 700 000 people globally each year. If present trends continue, AMR is projected to kill 10 million people annually by 2050. The world urgently needs to change the way it prescribes and uses antibiotics if precious lives are to be saved.

“Any person, any age, in any country can contract an antibiotic-resistant infection. Each and every one of us has a role to play in the prevention of AMR. The public must be fully informed of this threat in order to take action. Launching an effective AMR campaign with Fleming Funds is an important step forward in taking this message to the people of Sri Lanka,” stated Dr Jacob Kumaresan, WHO Representative to Sri Lanka.

The Fleming Fund will support research to assess the public’s awareness on AMR and the pattern of antibiotics use in Sri Lanka. Based on the evidence gathered, a national communications campaign will be launched to promote the rational use of antibiotics.

World leaders pledged to tackle AMR at the UN General Assembly in September 2016. WHO supported Sri Lanka to develop the National Action Plan (NAP) for AMR, a roadmap on how the country will address AMR. This will be launched in early 2017. Guidelines have been issued to doctors and prescribers of antibiotics on rational prescribing.

“Global progress on AMR is accelerating. Sri Lanka has demonstrated strong commitment to tackling AMR and we look forward to providing continued support to the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine,” highlighted Dr Kumaresan.