June 17, 2021

Meet the team: Gilam Tamolsaian

Can you introduce yourself and your role with COMBAT-AMR?

My name is Gilam Tamolsaian. I am the Project Coordinator for COMBAT-AMR in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on the Alcohol-Based Hand Rub project, and the Situation Needs Assessment. COMBAT-AMR has provided support with the procurement of reagents, equipment and expert advice on the set-up and production of a World Health Organisation approved, alcohol-based hand rub. The production site has been developed at Port Moresby General Hospital, PNG, with support from COMBAT-AMR project implementing partner, the Burnet Institute.

Before joining the COMBAT-AMR project, what were you working on?

Before joining the COMBAT–AMR project, I was working for International SOS as the Snake Handler. I was responsible for removing venomous and non-venomous snakes off the project site which I was working on and releasing the snakes again off the site. It was a dangerous and risky job, but I enjoyed it. Given my background in biology, I enjoyed the outdoors and dealing with animals and plants.

What initially attracted you to working in public health and your area of research?

I was interested in the COMBAT-AMR project initially due to the topic itself, anti-microbial resistance (AMR). I was intrigued and wanted to be part of it. It is a serious issue and being part of it gives the feeling that I am contributing to something important concerning the wellbeing of people in PNG, the Pacific and the world.

Why is combatting AMR important to you?

Combatting AMR is important to me because I do not want a world where most of the antibiotics which we use today, lose their ability to kill dangerous microbes.

What do you see as the biggest challenges in mitigating the threat of AMR in the Pacific Islands and globally?

The challenge is to get people in different cultures and backgrounds to understand AMR and the seriousness of the issue, to change their attitude toward the use of antibiotics and to work together by sharing information on AMR.