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News

Three key takeaways from the ReAct Africa conference

End July ReAct Africa, together with South Centre, arranged its annual conference, bringing stakeholders on antimicrobial resistance in the Africa region together. This year’s theme was antimicrobial resistance and the link to Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals. Dr. Rashid Abdi Aman, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Health, Kenya, officially opened the conference. He lauded the theme of the conference, saying that it was timely and would inform the UN high level meeting, set to be held in September 2019.

News

AMR-specific indicator proposed for monitoring Sustainable Development Goals

In a public consultation, the Inter-agency Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals indicators (IAEG-SDG) proposed an Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)-specific indicator. This is the first suggested AMR-specific indicator among potential changes to the metrics tracking progress on the United Nations’ SDGs.

Science

Diagnostics: Species identification

The first step in microbiological diagnostics is to determine whether the patient carries a pathogen that can explain the observed symptoms, and if so identify what species and sometimes subtype the infecting pathogen belongs to. For infections caused by bacteria, the gold standard method has, since the beginning of microbiological diagnostics, been culture on agar plates followed by microscopy and further subcultivation. New rapid diagnostic methods challenge this old and slow method – some more successfully than others.

News

Upcoming ReAct Africa Conference: universal health coverage and antimicrobial resistance in focus

23-25 July, ReAct Africa and South Centre will host a conference with the theme, “Achieving Universal Health Coverage while addressing Antimicrobial Resistance” in Nairobi, Kenya.

News

Five focus areas at the 2nd Ministerial Conference on AMR hosted by the Netherlands

The Netherlands hosted the 2nd Ministerial Conference on AMR, 19-20 June in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The Conference aimed to bring together Ministers of health and high-level policy makers to reflect on the progress of the global implementation of the Global Action Plan on AMR, and to identify approaches to accelerate the multi-sectoral work for the coming years and to intensify the international cooperation.

Science

Safety concerns of fecal microbiota transplants

Fecal microbiota transplants are emerging as a novel and effective therapy for antibiotic associated diarrhea. Two new cases in the USA highlight the risks of this therapy unless effectively controlled.

Science

Diagnostics – what are we talking about?

Diagnostics are often lifted as a part solution in containing the development and spread of antibiotic resistance. Sometimes, the word is used as if it was a magic wand – if we only had more or better diagnostics all problems would be solved. But how do diagnostics work, and what effects can we expect from implementing a new diagnostic method?

News

ReAct colleagues featured in WHO Bulletin as leading profiles in the work on reacting to antibiotic resistance

Two ReAct colleagues, Mirfin Mpundu, Head of ReAct Africa, and Otto Cars, founder of ReAct and Senior Strategic Adviser, have been featured in interviews in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization April and June issues. Common themes in these interviews are the limited action on antibiotic resistance in many countries, and that the problem of antibiotic resistance needs to be viewed from a systems perspective.

News

Mother Earth conference in Argentina – the environment in focus

Beginning June, ReAct Latin America co-hosted the second Mother Earth conference in Rosario, Argentina. During five days different challenges in regards of human health and ecosystems were addressed and linked to communities, the use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance.

News

Connecting global to local civil-society-agenda on AMR at CSO convening in Geneva

Beginning June, members of the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition (ARC) and civil society allies convened in Geneva, Switzerland for a three-day conference, “Charting a Civil Society Agenda on Antimicrobial Resistance: Connecting Global to Local”. Along with South Centre and Third World Network, ReAct invited more than 30 participants representing civil society organizations across five continents to discuss key issues on antimicrobial resistance.

News

ReAct Africa stakeholder at WHO IPC consultation – for standards and guidelines in African Union member states

Mid April, the Africa Center for Disease Control and WHO held a technical consultation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to develop Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) minimum standards and guidelines for healthcare facilities within the African Union member states. ReAct Africa joined as one of the stakeholders at the consultation.

News

8 insights from ReAct Asia Pacific project on antibiotic stewardship in secondary level hospitals in India

Healthcare facilities managed by Faith Based Organizations are vital in delivering good quality healthcare to the vast rural hinterland of Asia and Africa. In the absence of a robust primary healthcare system, secondary level hospitals often serve as the most important healthcare provider for the rural population. Implementing antibiotic stewardship in secondary level hospitals in countries like India, presents its own challenges. ReAct Asia Pacific took up the challenge to pilot antibiotic stewardship programmes in secondary level institutions managed by Faith Based Organisations – this resulted in 8 major insights. Read more and see short video with three interviews.

News

Second time for Innovate4AMR competition!

The competition Innovate4AMR invites student teams from around the world to design innovative solutions for antimicrobial stewardship in resource-limited healthcare settings.

Policy

Open letter to UN Member States from former IACG members Anthony So and Otto Cars

As former members of the IACG, Anthony So and Otto Cars of ReAct have written a letter to the Member States which has been sent to the Permanent Missions to the UN organizations in Geneva, New York and Rome. The letter was sent to raise awareness around the IACG recommendations and to prompt discussion, and bring their perspectives on certain key recommendations.

News

WHA conversation on Antibiotic Resistance as a Global Development Problem co-organized by ReAct

On the margins of World Health Assembly that took place in Geneva last week and beginning this week, ReAct co-organized an event on antibiotic resistance. The event focused on the launch of the report: When the Drugs Don’t Work: Antibiotic Resistance as a Global Development Problem that ReAct and Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation published earlier this year.

ReAct Interview

Medicines Patent Pool’s view on the role of licenses for antibiotics – World Intellectual Property Day

As the world is recognizing the World Intellectual Property Day on April 26, we consider how the current system uses Intellectual Property and licenses in the case of antibiotics. Deciphering the role of intellectual property is a critical element in constructing a workable end-to-end model for sustainable access to novel antibiotics. In this interview with Esteban Burrone, the head of policy for the Medicines Patent Pool, we examine the particular role that the Medicines Patent Pool and licensing could play in such an end-to-end model.

News

ReAct Latin America honors Earth Day

International Mother Earth Day is a day to reflect on the relation between nature and humans. Human beings’ permanence depends on the existence of other species, animals, plants and natural elements such as land, water and air. In this framework ReAct Latin America honors life in commemoration of Earth Day.

News

World Health Day 2019: Universal Health Coverage

On Sunday, 7 April 2019, World Health Day is celebrated calling us to act on Universal Health Coverage to ensure that all people, everywhere, have access to medical services and basic health care.

ReAct Latin America is participating in an event and launching a call on this year’s topic on Universal Health Coverage, and ReAct Asia Pacific will participate in a radio discussion around this topic. ReAct will continue to raise awareness around the importance to recognise effective antibiotics as an essential part of achieving Universal Health Coverage through the year. The upcoming ReAct Africa Annual Conference this summer will feature the theme of Universal Health Coverage.

ReAct Interview

Erry Setyawan, FAO, on Indonesian NAP: We need to work together to make it possible to manage AMR

“Managing antimicrobial resistance should be done through integration and coordination of various sectors. It should not be merely led by the government, but also collaborated with private sectors, professional associations, academics and other non-governmental sectors. We all have to join hands together,” says Erry Setyawan, FAO National Technical Advisor in Indonesia, on implementing the National Action Plan on AMR in Indonesia.

Science

Constraints for successful implementation of diagnostics

When discussing and developing interventions to curb antibiotic resistance, it is important to consider the constraints, especially in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Some interventions and technologies are simply not possible to implement – this holds true regardless of the novelty of the intervention, but becomes especially apparent for new high-tech innovations. The problems exist all over the field of innovation, but in this article, we’ll focus on diagnostics for illustration.

News

Antibiotic Shortages: magnitude, causes and possible solutions: A new WHO meeting report

Unavailability and shortages of antibiotics is an increasing problem for many countries with consequences both for patient safety and societal cost. At a WHO meeting end 2018, a project funded by ReAct through Sida, the magnitude, causes and possible solutions of antibiotic shortages were discussed.

News

ReAct’s new 5-year strategic plan receives funding from Sida

ReAct will align its work to respond to the next challenge: to ensure that the long-awaited response is corresponding to meet the actual needs, in particular in low- and middle-income countries. To address this new situation, ReAct will focus on four strategic areas in the coming five years, this with continued core funding from Sida.

Opinion

Antibiotic resistance and global development: alarming rates in armed conflicts

Antibiotic resistance is a major obstacle for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In ReAct’s report “When the Drugs Don’t Work – Antibiotic Resistance as a Global Development Problem’”, we have identified the vulnerability of populations in conflict and refugees to antibiotic resistance. People affected by conflict should not be overlooked, but be seen as an especially vulnerable group in the global response to antibiotic resistance.

Science

How infections spread and how to stop them

Infectious diseases are different from other diseases in that they are caused by microorganisms that spread from one individual to another, sometimes passing through other humans, animals, or an environmental reservoir. While infectious diseases spread wherever and whenever they are able to, several situations increase the risk that infections as well as antibiotic resistance spread. To understand why and how some people are more vulnerable, we need to understand how infections are transmitted.

News

New ReAct Report: When the Drugs Don’t Work - Antibiotic Resistance as a Global Development Problem

This new report by ReAct and Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation looks at the state of global development when the drugs don’t work and a post-antibiotic era sets in. The report shows how antibiotic resistance is a global development problem by highlighting existing data and people’s experiences.

Opinion

7 high-level standpoints from ReAct on the IACG draft recommendations

The IACG on AMR released the draft recommendations for public discussion from 29 January to 19 February. This marks the final round of stakeholder input collection before the recommendations are finalized for submission to the UN Secretary General by April 2019. The process towards the UN General Assembly will greatly determine the strategic directions of global response to antimicrobial resistance.

ReAct has developed our main opinions on the draft recommendations.

Science

Generating data for policy and practice

Knowledge is critical for good policy and practical work. In the Global Action Plan on AMR adopted by WHO in 2015, strategic objective 2 is to “Strengthen the knowledge and evidence base through surveillance and research”. But how can this be done in countries that lack funds and technical capacity?

News

New platform for setting the African research agenda

In the African region surveillance and laboratory data is sparse and there is concern that the National Action Plans on AMR are not founded on a strong evidence-base detailing the specifics of the problem nor on interventions proven to be effective in African contexts. This is why ReAct Africa hosted a research priority setting workshop end 2018.

Opinion

Three political actions needed on antimicrobial resistance in 2019

The WHO has identified antimicrobial resistance as a top ten priority global health threat for 2019. Three years after the Political Declaration on AMR was adopted by all Member States in 2016, we are now at a critical point in time to shape the world’s response to the issue. For 2019, political action must be stepped up. We urge countries to take up the work on antimicrobial resistance as a top priority, and would like to see the following happen…

Science

Outbreak of extremely drug resistant typhoid fever in Pakistan

Since November 2016, Pakistan has been plagued by an outbreak of extremely resistant typhoid fever. What is so special with this outbreak, and are there broader lessons to be learned from it?

ReAct Interview

Growing public response to AMR in Thailand

Thailand has very impressive health indicators and is among the few countries in the South-East Asia region that boasts of a Universal Health Care system. Despite these achievements, antimicrobial resistance has been a growing problem in Thailand. Dr Niyada Kiatying-Angsulee, Thailand’s foremost civil society activist on antimicrobial resistance, speaks to ReAct about the growing public awareness issues related to antimicrobial resistance in Thailand.

News

Pharmacologists' involvement will add new dimension

After the launch of the Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan, ReAct Asia Pacific was asked to arrange a workshop for pharmacologists. One of the main purposes of this program was to initiate and strengthen the role of pharmacologists within the antibiotic stewardship team in tertiary care teaching hospitals.

News

Antibiotic footprint: change the way food is labelled?

As consumers around the globe become more aware of the dangers of antimicrobial resistance meat producers and food retailers everywhere are rushing to label their products as “antibiotic-free” or as “raised without antibiotics”. The trouble is though, these labels do not fully explain in accurate terms what exactly they mean.