Fighting AMR: The Fleming Fund Extends to Central Africa

The fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is getting a new lease on life in Africa thanks to a regional grant from the Fleming Fund

Recognizing the need for the One Health approach, capacity building and workforce development, the government of the United Kingdom established the Fleming Fund Regional Grant, a program to assist low- and middle-income countries in the fight against AMR with the aim of improving AMR surveillance and generating relevant data to be shared nationally and globally.

The Fleming Fund has thus provided a grant to the Mapping AMR and AMU Partnership (MAAP), a consortium led by the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), with support from the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), IQVIA, Center for Disease Dynamics Economics and Policy (CDDEP), West African Health Organization (WAHO), East Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) and Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters (InSTEDD).

Initially present in 12 countries in west, east and southern Africa, including Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the project now extends to two countries in central Africa, Gabon and Cameroon. It is within this framework that a workshop to launch the MAAP project, involving stakeholders from both the public sector (ministries of health, defense and higher education and research) and the private sector (research centers, unions of pharmacists and private laboratories), was organized in Libreville, Gabon on 7 and 8 October, 2019 under the patronage of the Ministry of Health.

In his welcome remarks, Professor Joël Fleury Djoba Siawaya, who spoke on behalf of Gabon’s Director General of Health, noted the burden of AMR on the health of populations in Africa and around the world, and stressed the importance of each country assessing their situation in order to put in place surveillance mechanisms to combat this phenomenon. Cameroon was the second country in the sub-region to also host the Fleming Fund MAAP project from 25-26 February 2020.

The Fleming fund activities are aligned with the African Common Position on Antimicrobial Resistance Control, endorsed by African Heads of State and Government, on 14 February 2020 during the 33rd Ordinary Assembly of the African Union. The African Common Position calls for the development of policies and programs to improve monitoring, delay emergence, limit transmission, and mitigate harm from AMR organisms. African Union Member States have committed to finance interventions and train personnel to prevent and control AMR on the continent.

Author: Carine Joelle Alemoka, Communication Officer, Africa Centres for Disease Control, Central Africa Regional Collaborating Center

Editor: Mrs Bethanie Rammer

About ASLM

Established in 2011, the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) is a pan-African professional body focused on improving healthcare by strengthening all aspects of laboratories including workforce strengthening, quality improvement and accreditation, harmonization of regulations, strengthening of networks, and strengthening advocacy and communications. Laboratory testing is pivotal for disease diagnosis, epidemiological surveillance, outbreak investigation, and initiation and monitoring of treatment, as well as research and development. ASLM addresses these challenges by working collaboratively with governments; national, regional and international organizations; implementing partners, the private sector and other agencies to achieve its Strategic Vision goals. ASLM is endorsed by the African Union with support from the World Health Organization, Africa CDC, the US CDC, the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the World Bank, the Clinton Foundation, UNAIDS, and others.