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Antimicrobial resistance in the WHO African region: current status and roadmap for action

03 Mar 2016


The high burden of communicable diseases in African countries engenders extensive antimicrobial use and subsequent resistance with substantial health, financial and societal implications. A desktop analysis to ascertain whether countries in the WHO African region have implemented the WHO Policy Package to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) revealed that just two countries (4.3%) have national AMR plans in place, 14.9% (7) have overarching national infection prevention and control (IPC) policies, 93.6% (44) have essential medicines lists and 91.5% (43) have national medicines policies and treatment guidelines intimating rational use. None currently have representative national surveillance systems nor do any incentivize research and development into new medicines and diagnostics. A regional situational analysis to identify scalable good practices within African, resource-constrained country contexts under the auspices of WHO-AFRO is a necessary initial step towards the development of national and regional action plans in concert with incremental progress towards achieving the objectives of the policy package and global action plan. While it is clearly the responsibility of governments to develop, resource and implement plans, regular reporting to and/or monitoring and evaluation by an overarching body such as WHO-AFRO will ensure persistent incremental progress within continuous quality and accountability improvement paradigms.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Journal of Public Health