The project aims to create a national database on microbial resistance to antibiotics.
It also envisages the adoption of the internationally accepted Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute methodology in identification of organisms by all institutions in Sri Lanka conducting research on the issue.
"Microbial resistance to antibiotics has been identified as a serious problem worldwide, especially in developing countries, and places a heavy burden on healthcare systems," the statement said.
According to experts, the lack of surveillance has exacerbated the matter leading to underestimation of the magnitude of the problem.
"Statistics indicate that antibiotics constitute 7.6 percent of the Sri Lankan government’s expenditure on healthcare."
The project is funded by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GSK), a big pharmaceutical and vaccines company, which has committed 10 million rupees to the study of microbial resistance to antibiotics, the statement said.
“As a company that has supported numerous health related initiatives in Sri Lanka, GSK takes pride in funding this project and thereby encouraging private-sector support for medical research in the country,” Stuart Chapman, GSK Pharmaceuticals’ Managing Director in Sri Lanka said.
GSK said it has committed resources to tackle the three "priority" diseases identified by the World Health Organization: HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The second phase of the antibiotic sensitivity research project is expected to commence in the near future.In the third phase, focus will be on the amalgamation and expansion of surveillance to the existing laboratory system of the country.
Details of research conducted by members of the Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Project over a one-year period with 733 samples obtained from 488 adults (over 12 years of age), 109 children (1 – 12 years of age) and 136 infants at seven centres are included in the report.