Mar 20, 2024

GOHi launches an active surveillance program on AMR

The Global One Health initiative (GOHi) is working to widen the scope of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance in Ethiopia. According to the World Health Organization, “the global rise in antibiotic resistance poses a significant threat, diminishing the efficacy of common antibiotics against widespread bacterial infections.” They also note that “AMR is a problem for all countries at all income levels. Its spread does not recognize country borders.”

Running a surveillance program is essential in a nation like Ethiopia, whose burden of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) is still being determined and where facility-specific resistance profiles still need to be improved. To combat the spread of these organisms, GOHi has been working with two facilities in Addis Ababa to passively monitor routine clinical specimens for selected pathogens of global health importance, specifically carbapenemase-producing enterobacterales.

In addition to this ongoing passive monitoring project, GOHi is now fighting antimicrobial resistance by launching active surveillance for the MDROs of focus. This effort is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) global initiative across several countries. In collaboration with the CDC, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Tikur Anbesa Specialized Hospital and Zewditu Memorial Hospital, GOHi has begun conducting point prevalence surveys (PPS), a method of collecting information on practices of prescribing antibiotics. GOHi also provided a training session to 14 nurses from the two hospitals to introduce the concept and techniques of PPS.

With these efforts, GOHi is building capacity for AMR surveillance in Ethiopia. Most importantly, these structures and protocols are designed to function within an Ethiopian context and with the resources available, helping to ensure long-term sustainability for this important work. This project sets a standard that health practitioners can quickly replicate in other facilities and lays another major foundation in the fight against anti-microbial resistance worldwide.