Strengthening Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance
Antibiotic resistance (AMR) is one of the most significant global public health problems and is rising in many countries due to over-use of antibiotics, widespread availability of counterfeit or substandard medicines and poor infection prevention and control measures. Research shows that a continued rise in AMR could lead to 10 million deaths every year and a 3% reduction in gross domestic product by the year 2050.
Kenya has joined the global campaign against AMR in an urgent move to find sustainable measures to reduce further emergence and spread.
To combat the growing threat of AMR, The Kenya MOHExternal is developing a national surveillance system to detect resistant organisms. Data from the surveillance system will be used to update treatment guidelines and promote additional research on AMR. Kenya will also contribute to international AMR surveillance efforts by submitting data to the WHO Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS).
In 2017, CDC and the National Public Health Laboratory ServicesExternal (NPHLS) piloted the AMR surveillance system and assessed infection prevention and control (IPC) practices at two public hospitals in Thika and Kitale counties. Although basic laboratory equipment and laboratory information systems were in place, the assessment showed that testing and reporting capacities needed to be strengthened. NPHLS developed work plans to improve these capacities and partners are currently assisting with the improvements. This includes training laboratory staff in microbiology testing methods, providing necessary laboratory reagents, and updating information systems. Data from the pilot sites were reported to NPHLS. Moving forward, the AMR surveillance system will be revised to incorporate lessons learned from the pilot sites. Over the next five years, the program will expand to other major facilities in Kenya.