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Key informant interview on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in some countries in the western pacific region

26 Jul 2013

Background:
The World Health Organization (WHO) selected antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as the theme for World Health Day 2011. The slogan was “Combat Drug Resistance – No action today, no cure tomorrow” A six-point policy package was launched as a core product for World Health Day. It aimed to stimulate extensive and coherent action to overcome the many challenges presented by antimicrobial resistance.
Methods:
As a preparation for World Health Day, interviews were conducted with a series of key informants, mainly senior government staff, to assess their awareness of the topic and the interventions proposed in the policy package. Since the key informant interview methodology was used with a small number of interviewees, it may be difficult to demonstrate the validity of the findings.
Results:
Key informants from twelve out of fifteen countries responded, which included Fiji (n = 5), Kiribati (n = 1), Lao PDR (n = 2), Malaysia (n = 6), Micronesia (n = 3), Mongolia (n = 5), the Philippines (n = 5), Vietnam (n = 6), Vanuatu (n = 1), Solomon Islands (n = 3), Cambodia (n = 5) and Brunei (n = 1). There was a total of forty-three respondents (n = 43). AMR was widely recognized as a problem. Lack of a coherent, comprehensive and national plan or strategy was noted. Surveillance was often seen as weak and fragmented even where presented. Laboratory capacity was felt to be insufficient across all countries interviewed. The majority of respondents stressed the need for national and local plans to combat AMR including reliable estimates of the financial cost of combating and managing AMR, the need for legislation to control inappropriate use of antimicrobials in food animals and more serious efforts to promote Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs) and Rational Prescription. Also, importance was highlighted of the need to include infection prevention and control (IPC) as a part of accreditation and registration of health institutions and programs to promote IPC to the general population.
Conclusion:
A coalition of interested parties at the local, national and international levels need to generate and sustain the political will to organize a more comprehensive, sustainable, and coherent approach to AMR.

Date: 
26 July 2013

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