Spotlight 30/7/2018 Monitoring and Evaluation of the Global Action Plan on AMR

When they endorsed the 2015 Global Action plan on AMR, all World Health Organisation (WHO) Member States committed to the ambitious target of developing a multisectoral national action plan within two years. Last week, the WHO, World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations jointly published the findings from the second self-assessment survey of country progress towards these goals.

Key findings from the executive summary are as follows:

  •  93 countries reported that they had an action plan in place to monitor and combat AMR, with a further 51 having plans under development. Long-term development assistance is needed to implement them at scale, together with measures to ensure long- term sustainability of these investments at national level.
  • While the majority of the top 10 chicken-, pork- and cattle-producing countries that responded to the survey (9 out of 10) have at minimum developed a national action plan, in almost all domains – surveillance, education, monitoring and regulating consumption and use – more activity can be seen in the human sector.
  • There is an urgent need for resource prioritization and more action in the animal and food sectors. Only 64 countries (41.6%) have limited the use of critically important antimicrobials (human and animal) for growth promotion in agriculture.
  • Substantial data is also missing from the environment and plant sectors. This is an emerging area of concern, and the issues and agenda for action are less clear.
  • For the human sector, 105 countries report that they have a surveillance system in place and 68 have a system for tracking consumption of antimicrobials at national level. However, only 61 countries have enrolled in the Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System (GLASS) with only a proportion of these submitting data to GLASS on resistance, or consumption data to WHO.
  • From the point of view of medicines safety, almost one-fifth of countries (18.2%) have no national policy or legislation regarding the quality, safety and efficacy of antimicrobial products, and their distribution, sale or use.
  • Progress with developing and implementing plans is greater in high-income than low-income countries but all countries have scope for improvement.

By Sam Wilcocks, Biological and Pharmacological Sciences Disciplinary Head