Symposium discusses on ways to combat antimicrobial resistance in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, April 21, 2017 (FBC) - Management Sciences for Health (MSH) yesterday held a symposium entitled “Combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Ethiopia: Progress, Challenges and the Way forward.”

The aim of the symposium was to accelerate the momentum of actions to be taken in the fight against AMR and discuss the challenges that have been faced so far in this process.

Renowned academicians, clinicians, researchers and public health experts attended the symposium and made presentations on important topics related to AMR highlighting the Ethiopia and global experiences in relation to AMR spread and containment, appropriate antimicrobial use both in human and food-producing animals, and the economic and social impact of AMR in drug resistant TB in Ethiopia.

AMR has been recognized as a growing global public health threat. In 2014, the White House announced the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB); and in 2016, the United Nations General Assembly held a high-level meeting on AMR.

According to WHO, there were about 480, 000 new cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) around the globe in 2014, and among new TB patients about 3.3% were multidrug-resistant.

Ethiopia developed its first National Strategic Framework for the Prevention and Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance in 2011 with the financial and technical assistance of the USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services – a program implemented by Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

The 2nd edition of the strategy came out in 2015 and envisages work to be done until 2020 under the leadership of the Ethiopian Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Authority (EFMHACA).

At the symposium held on 20 April, it emerged that the fight against AMR is still young in Ethiopia and needs support from various stakeholders. Government policy makers can play a big role in this regard by putting adequate emphasis on the topic so that it gets the attention and effort it deserves on every level.

Ownership and commitment of the government and the Federal Ministry of Health are key factors in strengthening and accelerating AMR containment. In addition, it was suggested that the integration of government and non-government partners working in the area and in various related disciplines is a critical factor in developing a holistic solution for AMR.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is a global nonprofit organization working to save lives and improve the health of the poorest and most vulnerable people by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health.

Since its founding in 1971, MSH has worked with governments and ministries of health, policymakers, health professionals, and health care consumers to improve the quality, availability and affordability of health services in more than 150 countries.

 In Ethiopia, MSH has been working with partners since 2003 to implement lifesaving programs in the areas of HIV/AIDS care, treatment and support; tuberculosis; malaria; pharmaceutical systems strengthening; supply chain management; and leadership and management.

Posted by Amare Asrat