Turning plans into action for antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
Working Paper 2.0: Implementation and coordination
Since the Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) was adopted in 2015, more than half the world’s countries have developed their own national action plan (NAP) to tackle AMR, establishing AMR coordination committees or equivalent to deliver them. But implementing NAPs at scale is proving a difficult task, especially in the resource-constrained settings of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
This paper was developed to support AMR coordination committees and others tasked with addressing AMR at country level to offer practical guidance on implementation. Drawing on the published literature and the operational experience and expertise of different LMICs, the paper explains the importance of building on existing plans and initiatives in relevant areas (such as IPC, immunization, medicines regulation and supply and laboratory strengthening programmes). Although there are some AMR specific areas which may be new, many of the most important components of the AMR plan are activities that are already being carried out but that need to be scaled up and made more AMR sensitive. In reality, AMR is another imperative for action in essential public and animal health functions. In this context the role of the AMR coordination committee is to pull together the relevant strands of work, engage with the right individuals and ensure that the key functions to address AMR are appropriately included in key strategies, plans and budgets. The paper points to six key strategies for success and offers a series of practical tips and suggestions on how to implement each one.
These six strategies are: establishing AMR coordination committee roles and responsibilities; prioritizing AMR activities; getting AMR into government plans and budgeting processes at all levels; engaging stakeholders; tailoring the AMR message for different audiences; and making the case for investment. While each of these strategies is important in its own right, to support NAP implementation effectively they must be done together, in a purposeful and coordinated way.
This working paper is the latest to emerge from ongoing work by WHO, FAO and OIE to build a better global evidence base for implementing NAPs.