National action plan on antimicrobial resistance: An evaluation of implementation in the World Health Organization Africa region

Submitted: 2 August 2021
Accepted: 23 April 2022
Published: 27 July 2022
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In line with global instruments, within the last five years, two-thirds of all countries in the WHO Africa Region (WHO AFR) have developed a National Action Plan (NAP) on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). We sought to evaluate progress made across the countries implementing NAP for effective response to AMR. A semi-structured survey tool was administered to obtain information from national focal persons on the implementation of strategic elements of NAP on AMR. This was followed by a Lessons Learnt Workshop in June 2019 at Douala, Cameroon, where focal persons made presentations on the country’s progress. Later, a desktop review of the LLW report and other key documents was conducted. Countries in WHO AFR that have set up a national surveillance system and are enrolled into the WHO global antimicrobial resistance surveillance system have progressively increased to 30 (of 47 countries), of which 15 are already submitting surveillance data. Of the 20 countries at the Lessons Learnt Workshop, 14 have infection prevention and control (IPC) policies and functional healthcare facility IPC programs, 15 participate in the commemoration of the annual world hand hygiene days. Although almost all countries surveyed have national standard treatment guidelines, only five have incorporated the WHO AWaRe classification into the national essential medicines list. Fourteen of 20 countries have established an active/functional national secretariat/coordinating center for AMR. Discernible progress is being made on the implementation of NAP in WHO AFR region. Gaps identified in the strategic elements of action plans need to be filled for effective AMR control.

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