Technology-supported Capacity Building on AMR Surveillance: Findings from the Pilot Phase

Charitonos, Koula; Littlejohn, Allison; Kaatrakoski, Heli; Fox, Alison; Chaudhari, Vasudha; Seal, Timothy and Tegama, Natalie (2019). Technology-supported Capacity Building on AMR Surveillance: Findings from the Pilot Phase. The Open University.

Abstract

Our ability to treat life-threatening conditions is threatened by the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Tackling the effects of AMR requires international collaboration, political commitment and partnerships to ensure that robust AMR surveillance can provide health intelligence data to inform evidence-based interventions at local, national and international levels. Strengthening AMR surveillance is a much greater challenge in weak health systems, as in low-to-middle income countries (LMICs), where the impact of infectious diseases is highest and the ability to respond to AMR may be limited.

As a response to the global threat of drug-resistant infections, the UK Government has established the Fleming Fund that plays a critical role in achieving the resolution of the 68th World Health Assembly, 2015 (WHA A68/20), and in realising the ‘Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Antimicrobial Resistance, 2016’. The work detailed in this report contributes to the Fleming Fund programme led by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), specifically the objective overseen by Mott MacDonald to improve capacity in AMR surveillance in LMICs. This work is aligned with the World Health Organization’s Global AMR Surveillance System (GLASS), which acts as the blueprint for a multi-stakeholder global response to averting a global health crisis caused by AMR .

The Open University is the Global Learning Partner of the Fleming Fund Management Agent, Mott MacDonald. The OU has been appointed to develop and implement a programme that will help a range of stakeholders in Fleming Fund participating countries increase their knowledge, skills and understanding of AMR. As defined by the grant agreement between the Open University (OU) and Mott MacDonald, the Grant 1 (April 2018 to September 2019) supported the OU to develop and pilot an approach to delivering that programme. This work was carried out in two phases where evidence from Phase 1 Scoping (April – December 2018) informed Phase 2 Piloting (January – September 2019). An interim report submitted to Mott MacDonald in November 2018 summarised the findings of the scoping phase and outlines the approach to the piloting phase.

In this report, we draw on the evidence from Phase 2 in which the OU designed, developed and facilitated two pilot learning events in two target countries, Bhutan and Ghana: the first event was an 8-week online course, Understanding Antibiotic Resistance, and the second one was a 7-week blended event (online, face-to-face), The Power of Data to tackle AMR. This report will inform a longer-term approach to build AMR surveillance capacity in LMICs in a further Grant over the period 2019-2021.

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