Helping to tackle antimicrobial resistance
Antimicrobial resistant bacteria (AMR) are an issue of global concern: if current trends continue, health economists estimate that worldwide by 2050 AMR could result in up to 10 million deaths each year and USD100 trillion lost in economic activity.
As drug resistant bacteria can spread freely around the environment, responses to AMR must involve multiple sectors.
Burnet Institute is leading the implementation of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Country Grant component of the Fleming Fund, a £265 million UK Aid program helping to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in low- and middle-income countries.
Our project brings together a unique collaboration of experts in animal and human health, microbiology and surveillance, information technology and construction, all to support PNG’s domestic responses to address AMR.
Our PNG project aims to:
- Strengthen One Health approaches to information sharing
- Strengthen antimicrobial resistance (AMR), antimicrobial use (AMU) and antimicrobial consumption (AMC) surveillance and monitoring systems in the human health sector; and
- Strengthen antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antimicrobial use (AMU) surveillance and monitoring systems in the animal health sector.
Our project’s key activities include:
- Strengthening national and subnational AMR governance structures including the establishment of active working groups across key sectors in PNG;
- Workforce development such as training laboratory personnel in biosafety and laboratory management; and
- Enhancing animal health and human health laboratory infrastructure to support surveillance and diagnostic capabilities for AMR
The Fleming Fund PNG project is establishing bacteriology diagnostics in laboratories throughout the country benefiting patients admitted to provincial hospitals in the Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands, Morobe and East New Britain provinces, as well as the National Capital District. This laboratory strengthening has already assisted PNG with their COVID-19 responses.
Surveillance of bacteria affecting poultry will be established in farms throughout the Markham Valley, providing a framework for surveillance of a range of animal diseases. This includes surveillance for African Swine Fever, a devastating disease of pigs introduced into PNG in 2020.
The project embraces a One Health approach. The combination of human and animal AMR surveillance will allow PNG to better understand the extent of AMR across the country and develop strategies to address AMR.
Laboratory strengthening – assisting PNG with COVID-19 responses
In partnership with the World Health Organization (PNG), the Laboratory Information Management System established by our project was extended to support the PNG national COVID-19 response. This will overcome gaps in tracking patient specimens for SARS-CoV-2 testing through the laboratory referral system and delays in returning results to patients and outbreak responders. This highlights the broader benefits that investments in laboratory strengthening will have on public health in PNG.
Find out more about the Fleming Fund