Since its inaugural continental workshop at the African Union (AU) in April 2019, the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM)-led consortium ‘Mapping Antimicrobial Resistance and Antimicrobial Use Partnership (MAAP)’ has made great strides in implementing its activities towards collecting retrospective data on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antimicrobial use (AMU) in 14 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. MAAP receives funding from the Fleming Fund under the regional grant round 1. In August 2019, the team conducted a preparatory in-country visit to Nigeria in collaboration with the national Antimicrobial Resistance Coordinating Committee (AMRCC). Local experts guided the team to embrace the diversity of this giant of Africa and to collect data that are representative of the whole country. The MAAP consortium also visited Tanzania and Burkina Faso to discuss details of the project implementation with national stakeholders under the leadership of their respective national AMRCCs.
While ASLM provides its expertise in laboratory networks and systems, MAAP receives additional critical support from its strategic partners, the Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC), the West African Health Organization (WAHO) and the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) to engage Ministries of Health and ensure optimal participation of stakeholders on the ground. The consortium’s technical and scientific partners, the Center for Disease Dynamics & Economic Policy (CDDEP), IQVIA, and Innovative Support to Emergencies Diseases and Disasters (InSTEDD), contribute their unique skills and knowledge of planning and conducting data collection, analysis and interpretation, including the development of innovative e-tools.
These recent in-country visits bring the total number of participating countries that are ready to start data collection to share with ASLM to seven. Gabon, Kenya and Uganda are the next countries preparing for the MAAP consortium to visit next month.
The strong mobilization of countries to participate in the MAAP project indicate the growing awareness of the AMR threat to Africa and the relevance of the Fleming Fund programme. The data collected aim to support ongoing and future efforts to establish robust and representative national AMR and AMU surveillance systems. Trends of AMR and AMU analyzed by MAAP will inform regional and national policies and guidance for the control and prevention of AMR in sub-Saharan Africa.
Author: Edwin Shumba
Editor: Mrs Bethanie Rammer
Established in 2011, the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) is a pan-African professional body focused on improving healthcare by strengthening all aspects of laboratories including workforce strengthening, quality improvement and accreditation, harmonization of regulations, strengthening of networks, and strengthening advocacy and communications. Laboratory testing is pivotal for disease diagnosis, epidemiological surveillance, outbreak investigation, and initiation and monitoring of treatment, as well as research and development. ASLM addresses these challenges by working collaboratively with governments; national, regional and international organizations; implementing partners, the private sector and other agencies to achieve its Strategic Vision goals. ASLM is endorsed by the African Union with support from the World Health Organization, Africa CDC, the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the World Bank, the Clinton Foundation, UNAIDS, and others.
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