Original Research

Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System on the African continent: Early implementation 2017–2019

Barbara Tornimbene, Sergey Eremin, Reuben Abednego, Elamin O. Abualas, Ilhem Boutiba, Abiodun Egwuenu, Walter Fuller, Laetitia Gahimbare, Susan Githii, Watipaso Kasambara, Chileshe Lukwesa-Musyani, Fidy A. Miamina, Sekesai Mtapuri-Zinyowera, Grace Najjuka, Olga Perovic, Bassem Zayed, Yahaya A. Ahmed, Maha T. Ismail, Carmem L. Pessoa da Silva
African Journal of Laboratory Medicine | Vol 11, No 1 | a1594 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajlm.v11i1.1594 | © 2022 Barbara Tornimbene, Sergey Eremin, Reuben Abednego, Elamin O. Abualas, Ilhem Boutiba, Abiodun Egwuenu, Walter Fuller, Laetitia Gahimbare, Susan Githii, Watipaso Kasambara, Chileshe Lukwesa-Musyani, Fidy A. Miamina, Sekesai Mtapuri-Zinyowera, Grace Najjuka | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 March 2021 | Published: 31 August 2022

About the author(s)

Barbara Tornimbene, AMR Division, Surveillance, Prevention and Control Department, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
Sergey Eremin, AMR Division, Surveillance, Prevention and Control Department, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
Reuben Abednego, National Health Laboratory Quality Assurance and Training Centre (NHLQATC), Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania
Elamin O. Abualas, National Public Health Laboratory, Federal Ministry of Health, Khartoum, Sudan
Ilhem Boutiba, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia
Abiodun Egwuenu, Nigeria Center for Disease Control, Abuja, Nigeria
Walter Fuller, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo
Laetitia Gahimbare, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo
Susan Githii, National Microbiology Reference Lab, National Public Health Laboratories, Nairobi, Kenya
Watipaso Kasambara, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi
Chileshe Lukwesa-Musyani, Lusaka District Laboratory, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia
Fidy A. Miamina, Department of Health Watch, Epidemiological Surveillance and Response (DVSSER), Antananarivo, Madagascar
Sekesai Mtapuri-Zinyowera, National Microbiology Reference Laboratory, Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Grace Najjuka, Department of Microbiology, Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC), Kampala, Uganda
Olga Perovic, Centre for Healthcare-Associated Infections, Antimicrobial Resistance and Mycoses (CHARM), Johannesburg, South Africa
Bassem Zayed, World Health Organization, Regional Office for East Mediterranean, Cairo, Egypt
Yahaya A. Ahmed, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa, Brazzaville, Congo
Maha T. Ismail, World Health Organization, Regional Office for East Mediterranean, Cairo, Egypt
Carmem L. Pessoa da Silva, AMR Division, Surveillance, Prevention and Control Department, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland


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Abstract

Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is becoming a critical public health issue globally. The World Health Organization launched the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS) to support the strengthening of the AMR evidence base.

Objective: The article describes the evolution of national AMR surveillance systems and AMR data reporting of countries in the African continent between 2017 and 2019, and the constraints, perceived impact and value of the participation in GLASS.

Methods: Data on implementation of national surveillance systems and AMR rates were submitted to GLASS between 2017 and 2019 and summarised though descriptive statistics. The information on constraints and perceived impact and value in GLASS participation was collected though a set of questionnaires.

Results: Between 2017 and 2019, Egypt, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia submitted data to GLASS. The main constraints listed are linked to scarce laboratory capacity and capability, limited staffing, budget issues, and data management. Moreover, while the data are not yet nationally representative, high resistance rates were reported to commonly-used antibiotics, as the emerging resistance to last treatment options.

Conclusion: Despite the limitations, more and more countries in the African continent are working towards reaching a status that will enable them to report AMR data in a complete and systematic manner. Future improvements involve the expansion of routine surveillance capacity for several countries and the implementation of surveys that allow to effectively define the magnitude of AMR in the continent.


Keywords

AMR; surveillance; Africa; implementation; WHO

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