Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most important challenges in the fight against infectious diseases as drug resistance hinders effective application of modern technologies, Dr. Rajesh Bhatia, Regional Adviser, SEARO/WHO, said at the inauguration of a WHONET workshop at Sankara Nethralaya.
The five-day workshop on “Laboratory based surveillance of antimicrobial resistance,” was inaugurated at Sankara Nethralaya on March 21, 2011.
The theme of World Health Day 2011 is Antimicrobial Resistance and the WHONET training programme, Dr. Bhatia said, “is part of WHO’s global efforts to contain antimicrobial resistance.”
The WHONET training programme will enable microbiologists and other infectious disease specialists gain new analytical tools to monitor and manage susceptibility test quality and the spread of drug resistance locally and outside their area.
“Antibiotic susceptibility test guides physicians in selecting the best antimicrobial agents for the management of infections in patients. The data generated will provide epidemiological information on the resistance pattern of microorganisms and is of great public health importance within the community,” Dr. HN Madhavan, President, Vision Research Foundation and Director, L&T Microbiology research centre, said in his welcome address.
Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, Dr. SS Badrinath described the opportunity to hold the prestigious workshop as a very important recognition for Sankara Nethralaya.
Twenty microbiologists from SEARO (Regional Office for South-East Asia) and WPPRO (Regional Office for the Western Pacific) countries like Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal are participating at the workshop.
WHONET is an information system developed to support WHO’s goal of global surveillance of bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents. Microbiologists, clinicians and infection control workers may use WHONET —a free Windows-based software — to enhance monitoring of drug resistance in their hospitals and communities and to merge their files into national, regional, and global networks for surveillance of drug resistance.
The facilitators participating at the workshop include Dr. Rajesh Bhatia, Regional Adviser, SEARO/WHO; Dr. Gayatri Ghadiok Technical Officer, Essential Health Technologies Adviser WPRO/WHO; Dr. Anuj Sharma, WHO India; Dr. H. N. Madhavan, President, Vision Research Foundation, Director L&T Microbiology Research Centre and Dr. K. Lily Therese, Head of Department, L&T Microbiology Research Centre.