East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project

Research Area: Antibiotic Resistance
Type: Report

The Question

1) What are the costs and benefits of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance and 2) are the East Africa Public Health Laboratory Networking Project laboratories ready to participate in national AMR surveillance?

What we found

Reviewing global experience, the case study documents specific local, national, regional and global benefits of AMR surveillance, with examples of each. AMR surveillance uses the results of antibiotic susceptibility tests (ASTs) conducted for patient care, so the cost is modest, mainly for data aggregation and analysis. The benefits accrue only when the data are further used for policymaking, which is an additional modest cost. We also found that, despite significant laboratory improvements and investment in equipment, the EAPHLN laboratories are doing few ASTs and therefore currently have limited ability to participate in national AMR surveillance.

Why it matters

AMR surveillance is only means of understanding current patterns and trends in AMR around the world. It is also important locally to guide patient treatment decisions and nationally, to guide development and revision of clinical practice guidelines and essential medicines lists, among other benefits.