AMR surveillance in sub-Saharan Africa
The spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major challenge for health systems worldwide, also affecting many African countries. The majority of bacterial infections with resistant pathogens in sub-Saharan Africa still go undetected and empiric treatment of infections is common. The reason behind are lack of microbiology laboratories, that are capable of performing bacterial culture and antibiotic susceptibility testing, particularly in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, the GHP funded project “development of standardized AMR laboratories” has so far built and set up three fully functioning AMR microbiology laboratories in three different geographical locations of Ghana, namely Agogo (Asante Akim North District), Assin Fosu (Assin Fosu Municipal) and Agroyesum (Amansie West District). The established laboratories are standardized and are able to process clinical specimens such as blood, urine and stool samples as well as perform antibiotic susceptibility testing according to the guidelines of the WHO Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS). The established AMR surveillance systems will inform on circulation and emerging AMR bacterial strains and will eventually lead to improved patient care by allowing targeted antibiotic treatment. Currently, this work is expanded to three study sites in Tanzania including the island of Zanzibar in collaboration with the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and the Zanzibar Livestock Research Institute (ZALRI).