ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – 3 April 2019.

The African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) along with its partners is pleased to announce the inception of the Mapping Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use Partnership (MAAP) project. Through a grant from the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Fleming Fund. The MAAP project aims to collect data on antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use, initially across 12 countries in West, East and Southern Africa. In Asia, the Fleming Fund is supporting the Capturing data on Antimicrobial resistance Patterns and Trends in Use in Regions of Asia (CAPTURA) consortium to collect antimicrobial resistance data across 12 countries in South and Southeast Asia.

Antimicrobial resistance, or drug resistant infection, is a major threat to public health around the world. It is estimated that if no action is taken antimicrobial resistance will kill 10 million people a year by 2050 with the greatest impact in Africa. The estimated cost to the global economy will be $100 trillion USD. The lack of data on the prevalence and location of antimicrobial resistance and on patterns of antimicrobial use in low and middle-income countries, including in many countries in Africa, inhibits investment in critically important surveillance systems that can support swift public health action.

The MAAP project will collect existing data to improve baseline spatio-temporal mapping of antimicrobial resistance and use and assess whether data gaps in Africa are related to gaps in diagnostics or low levels of reporting. MAAP will increase the volume and quality of such data from Africa. First, the project will work to digitize and analyse previously unusable, paper-based data. Second, MAAP will identify areas for improving countries’ ability to collect quality data in the future. These data will be collected in alignment with the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Global Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Framework for Antimicrobial Resistance, 2018-2023 and coordinated through Africa CDC’s AMRSNET.

Like MAAP, the Fleming Fund also supports CAPTURA, to collect and analyze existing data on antimicrobial resistance and use in South and Southeast Asia. The consortium, led by the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), includes the Public Health Surveillance Group, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Oxford University’s Big Data Institute and Centre for Genomic Pathogen Surveillance.

“MAAP and CAPTURA will be critical to improve advocacy and awareness around antimicrobial resistance in the low- and middle-income countries of Africa and Asia,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC. “The initiatives will directly increase the number of countries that are continuously collecting, analyzing, reporting and disseminating data about antimicrobial resistance in locally relevant, high priority pathogens.”

MAAP’s kick off workshop will be held 4-5 April 2019 at the African Union (AU) Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Participants will include AU Member States, Africa CDC Regional Collaborating Centers, the West African Health Organization (WAHO), the Eastern, Central and Southern African Community (ECSA), the ASLM Secretariat, MAAP consortium partners, the AU task force on antimicrobial resistance, and technical partner organizations. The meeting will discuss MAAP plans, as well as long term plans for the implementation of antimicrobial resistance surveillance systems that can adequately inform public health action and contribute to the requirements of the WHO’s International Health Regulations and the goals of the AU’s Africa Health Strategy 2016-2030. Data collection is planned to start in the second quarter of 2019.

ASLM is grateful for the support of all of the partners in the MAAP project, including the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP), IQVIA Solutions (Pty) Ltd , Africa CDC, WAHO, ECSA and Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters (InSTEDD).

For more information on the MAAP project, contact Edwin Shumba, ASLM Program Manager for Antimicrobial Resistance at Eshumba@aslm.org.

For more information about ASLM, please visit: http://www.aslm.org.

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