A One Health approach
While the problem of antibiotic resistance is seen most acutely in the health sector, agriculture and the environment all play a part in to how bacteria develop resistance and spread. In fact, environmental bacteria are the most abundant organisms on the planet and serve as sources for AMR genes that can at any time impact people and animals, entering our food systems, waterways and health care facilities.
There is international agreement that any solution being developed needs an integrated approach that recognises the contribution of human health, agriculture and the environment. Such an approach is known as One Health.
This project will increase the knowledge of both antibiotic resistance and antimicrobial use in Fiji, leading to better health outcomes for people in Fiji and the Pacific region.
By collecting new data, and integrating this with data already available in Fiji, the team will develop a surveillance system that can identify AMR trends and hot spots, which will then lead to informed intervention strategies.
It will also help to increase national skills within the health, agricultural and environmental sectors and help to influence how the public and local communities use antibiotics.
It is expected that increased national skills on AMR analysis, diagnostics, biomarkers and laboratory safety will enhance the understanding of the spread and impact of AMR in people and animals in Fiji, increasing awareness, and resulting in improved policies around AMR and antimicrobial stewardship at the local, national and regional levels. Part of the antimicrobial stewardship work will involve development of prescription guidelines using Australia as a case study.
At the community level, increased knowledge on the role of men and women in household disease management and medication of both their families and animals, and improved knowledge on AMR governance at the community level, is expected to result in better targeted action around the prescription and use of antimicrobials that considers the local population’s needs and realities around therapeutic use, both for themselves and their livestock.
The project is a prototype that can be rolled out to other countries in the Indo-Pacific.
Our project has four key objectives:
- Develop of a prototype for an integrated AMR and antimicrobial use surveillance system in Fiji
- Develop laboratory capacity and appropriate diagnostic technologies for sustainable AMR surveillance and detection
- Develop risk and socio-economic evaluation frameworks for assessing AMR
- Recommend and influence sustainable AMR management policies at the local, national and regional levels