Maseru, Lesotho

Lesotho develops a national action plan on AMR

Lesotho is advancing quickly towards a functional One Health National Action Plan (NAP) on Antimicrobial Resistance with a collective and stepwise approach, first conducting a situational analysis, drafting the NAP and consulting all stakeholders in a validation meeting.

As part of a larger intervention, the Tripartite (OIE, WHO and FAO) assisted Lesotho in organizing a week-long workshop on drafting a national action plan on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Lesotho from 24 to 28 June 2019.

The aim of the workshop was to develop a One Health National Action Plan (NAP) for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in line with the Global Action Plan, the OIE Strategy on AMR, also taking into account the high priority AMR has within the SADC Secretariat, where an AMR Strategy is being developed and guidelines of regulation of veterinary medicinal products are under revision.

The specific objectives of this workshop were to prime and facilitate the drafting of the NAP by members of the Lesotho technical working groups and the AMR national coordination committee and more specifically to facilitate the development and documentation of the Lesotho NAP-AMR and to present the draft NAP-AMR for stakeholder validation before finalisation.

The validation workshop was honored by the presence of the deputy Minster of Health, Hon. Manthabiseng Phohleli.

The workshop was attended by persons from the technical working groups on AMR coming from a wide range of governmental and private institutions, such as the Ministry of Health, a private pharmacy, the Media Institute of Southern Africa in Lesotho, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MoAFS): crops-, livestock- and veterinary sections, the National Reference Laboratory, Ministry of Water, the Christian Health Association of Lesotho, the National University of Lesotho: health- and veterinary departments, National Health Training CollegeLesotho Agricultural College, clinical health services/epidemiology, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Development and Planning, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and the Tripartite regional and sub-regional representaties.

Misuse/overuse of antimicrobials has led to AMR in human, animal and plant health and a pool of resistant microorganisms in the environment.

New studies point to severe contamination of waterways with antimicrobials in Sub-Saharan Africa where irrational use of antimicrobials is recognised as a common practice and where antimicrobials are readily available over the counter.

Falsified products are considered by national authorities a real and immediate problem. Sub Saharan Africa, in general, suffers from a lack of systems to promote and enforce rational use of antimicrobials, i.e. lack of legislation and/or weak enforcement of existing laws on antimicrobial use and dispensing, low level of public awareness on the risk of overuse/misuse of antimicrobials, lack of diagnostic capacity to guide treatment and poor access to healthcare systems.

AMR is prioritized under the Global Health Security Agenda. In May 2015, the 68th World Health Assembly approved a Global Action Plan (GAP) to combat AMR in close collaboration with OIE and FAO. The OIE Strategy on Antimicrobial Resistance and Prudent use of Antimicrobials gives guidance to its member countries on containing AMR in the veterinary domain and FAO also has it strategy on AMR.

Lesotho as other countries has been urged and has agreed on developing a National Action Plan (NAP) for AMR based on the One Health concept. As the country had not had the resources to do so, Lesotho requested assistance from the Tripartite to draft and implement a NAP with a One Health Approach.

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Group picture. Picture (c) O. Valsson (oie) 2019. 

More information :

Lesotho AMR National Action Plan (Maseru)

March 22, 2019
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