Lessons from the Field

Antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Ethiopia: Implementation experiences and lessons learned

Rajiha A. Ibrahim, Amete M. Teshal, Surafel F. Dinku, Negga A. Abera, Abebe A. Negeri, Feven G. Desta, Eyasu T. Seyum, Adugna W. Gemeda, Wubshet M. Keficho
African Journal of Laboratory Medicine | Vol 7, No 2 | a770 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajlm.v7i2.770 | © 2018 Rajiha A. Ibrahim, Amete M. Teshal, Surafel F. Dinku, Negga A. Abera, Abebe Assefa, Feven Girmachew, Eyasu Tigabu, Adugna Woyessa, Wubshet Mamo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 January 2018 | Published: 06 December 2018

About the author(s)

Rajiha A. Ibrahim, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Amete M. Teshal, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Surafel F. Dinku, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Negga A. Abera, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Abebe A. Negeri, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Feven G. Desta, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Eyasu T. Seyum, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Adugna W. Gemeda, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Wubshet M. Keficho, American Society for Microbiology, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


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Abstract

Introduction: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a global threat. High levels of AMR to commonly used antibiotics have been reported in East Africa. A situation analysis of AMR in Ethiopia also indicated high resistance levels. To prevent and contain AMR, Ethiopia established a national surveillance network.

Objectives: This article describes the steps taken to prioritise AMR and establish the National Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System in Ethiopia, as well as present the challenges and lessons learned through implementation.

Methods: In April 2017, Ethiopia had developed and approved the National AMR Surveillance Plan for laboratory-based AMR surveillance. The World Health Organization recommendations and Ethiopias’s current microbiology capacity were used to prioritise organisms for reporting. The surveillance system is comprised of a network linking the national reference laboratory with surveillance sentinel sites. Roll-out of the AMR surveillance network occurred in three phases in order to ensure successful implementation.

Results: Electronic capture and transmission of data, supply chain for the microbiology laboratory and communication problems were challenges observed after implementation started. Support from Ethiopian Public Health Institute focal persons for data entry, regular scheduled communication establishment and procurement of supplies by the American Society for Microbiology were some of the measures taken to address the challenges.

Conclusion: Ethiopia has demonstrated that setting up AMR surveillance in lower resource settings is possible with strong leadership and stakeholder engagement.


Keywords

AMR; surveillance; Ethiopia

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