News and Opinions  –  2017

ReAct supports countries in the development of National Action Plans on AMR

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National Action Plans on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) are a crucial component to address antibiotic resistance at the country level. Since 2010, ReAct has supported countries in the development of National Action Plans.

REACT ACTION. Red countries – Support on National Action Plans on Antimicrobial Resistance. Dark grey countries – Activities on the ground.

National Action Plans on Antimicrobial Resistance

National Action Plans on Antimicrobial Resistance are an essential component of the global strategies to address antibiotic resistance. At the country level, ReAct supports the development of National Action Plans together with partners from WHO, FAO, OIE and civil society organizations. By facilitation of workshops and through the use of the ReAct Toolbox, ReAct guides countries in this process. As a key first step, ReAct encourages the development of multi-stakeholder coordination groups with representation from relevant institutions to ensure ownership and commitment. ReAct provides technical support to these groups, reviewing and inputting to situational analyses and National Action Plans. Many of these activities run parallel with other engagement and awareness raising activities on the ground.

Ghana – started to support Ministry of Health already in 2010

Already in 2010, ReAct supported the Ministry of Health, Ghana to develop their National Platform on Antimicrobial Resistance. At the time, antibiotic resistance did not have the level of recognition that it holds today and a large part of the support was helping to sensitize key change agents on the topic and build a multi-stakeholder platform to drive the efforts in Ghana. In addition, ReAct provided technical support in the design and undertaking of the project. This included inputting to to the knowledge attitudes, behavior and practices (KABP) study at the community level and a KABP amongst health care professionals as well as a training and capacity building baseline surveillance study that was also conducted. These studies were used as input into the Situation Analysis which then fed into the National Policy on Antimicrobial Resistance, and the National Action Plan.

Toolbox logotype

The ReAct Toolbox – a web-based resource to facilitate action on antibiotic resistance

More on the work in Ghana can be read in the ReAct Toolbox.

In Kenya – sits on national advisory committee

As ReAct Africa is based in Nairobi, the node has the opportunity to sit on the Kenyan National Antimicrobial Stewardship Advisory Committee and has contributed knowledge and technical expertise sitting on committees that focused on raising awareness, surveillance, infection prevention and control and consumption of antimicrobials. It has also contributed in the development of the communication strategy and antimicrobial resistance curriculum for healthcare workers.

In Zimbabwe – provides logistical support

ReAct Africa joined together with the Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership (GARP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to provide logistical support and facilitation of their working group meetings as well as technical support, reviewing draft documents of their Situation Analysis and National Action Plan.

Zimbabwe’s National Action Plan strategic pillars from a brainstorming session on National Action Plan development

During a ReAct and CDDEP facilitated National Action Plan workshop in Zimbabwe, the multi-stakeholder working group was charged with the task of developing the strategic pillars of the National Action Plan. One of the groups drew up this picture of a house, showing how the different components fit together. After consultation from the wider group, the figure has changed slightly but has been incorporated in the draft National Action Plan. The Zimbabwe National Action Plan is built on a foundation of research and development and the necessary political commitment and investment to ensure the sustainability of the antimicrobial resistance program. The three key pillars of the strategy are: Surveillance, Prevention, and Rational use. And finally, the Zimbabwe National Action Plan has as its roof the need to raise awareness and educate the public, professionals and policy makers on AMR and responsible antimicrobial use.

In Nigeria – guiding the country working group

Also together with GARP, ReAct has been helping to support Nigeria. ReAct has been guiding the country working group and provided input to their extensive Situation Analysis and National Action Plan.

In Rwanda – participate in first symposium on AMR

ReAct Africa participated in the 1st symposium on Antimicrobial (AMR) Stewardship in Rwanda, at the invitation of WHO, sharing experiences from other countries and providing information, education and communication materials. ReAct’s presence at the meeting was inspirational and informative for the Ministry of Health, Rwanda who was just starting to discuss the topic.

In Uganda – input on National Action Plan on AMR

ReAct’s input on the draft Ugandan National Action plan was solicited by the members of the Ugandan working group. In reviewing the draft plan, ReAct gave comments regarding the importance of engaging civil society in the governmental process and ensuring access to effective antimicrobials was sufficiently covered.

ReAct Africa champions after playing a game of Toolbox – Jepoardy

At the ReAct Africa annual meeting, champions participated in a workshop on the ReAct Toolbox. The session focused on how the Toolbox can be used in the development and implementation of National Action Plan, describing the steps to undertake in the process, the key elements to include in a national action plan on antimicrobial resistance and identified context appropriate resources to facilitate African countries in implementing the plan. The participants were then asked to discuss in groups their needs and to work together to identify resources in the Toolbox that could be used to address those needs. The day ended with a light hearted game of Toolbox- Jeporady inciting a friendly competition to encourage learning and familiarity on the multitude of rescues located within the Toolbox.

In Zambia – organized campaign

ReAct organized a campaign on antibiotic resistance which culminated into a full recognition of ReAct as a partner in the process towards the National Action Plan development. Working through civil society organizations, ReAct supported the initial Situation Analysis on that provided the framework for the National Action Plan.

In Namibia – provided input on the National Action Plan on AMR

ReAct has provided input in the National Action Plan particularly reviewing the supply chain, medicine regulation and educational components of the SA and recommendations in the National Action Plan.

In Mozambique – engaging civil society organizations

ReAct started engaging engaging civil society organizations and academia on antibiotic resistance in 2014 providing forums for south to south exchanges and has provided input to the draft National Action Plan by reviewing the draft.

In Malawi – reviewed the draft National Action Plan on AMR

ReAct has was approached by a member of the Malawi National Action Plan working group and asked to review and provide input to the draft National Action Plan on AMR.

In India – part of discussions contributing towards the draft National Action Plan on AMR

As part of the development of National Action Plan in India, the intersectoral coordination committee, technical advisory group, the core working group and other co-opted members took part in a national workshop organized jointly by the WHO Country Office for India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and National Centre for Disease Control in New Delhi. ReAct also participated in the meeting, being an integral part of the discussions and contributed towards the draft National Action Plan on AMR.

ReAct also led some of the group discussions in the workshop towards strategies for National Action Plan for surveillance and regulations in the country.

In addition, ReAct also reviewed India’s draft National Action Plan and provided a letter of input and comments to the inter ministerial drafting group. ReAct is continuing to support the National Action Plan through various fora such as the ICMR programme for antibiotic stewardship training and through support for antimicrobial resistance surveillance in the country.

The Centre for Science and the Environment (CSE)

The Centre for Science and the Environment (CSE), located in New Delhi has convened various stakeholders including ReAct towards developing strategic and operational guidance to address animal and environmental aspects of antimicrobial resistance in National Action Plans. Not only has CSE been using this guidance towards interventions for the Indian National Action Plan, but through the Coalition and other allies, has further disseminated it to other country governments to be adapted to their national context. ReAct has also organized a workshop on non-human use of antibiotics to support the National Action plan. This workshop has been organized in one of the states to sensitize stakeholders in agriculture, veterinary, aquaculture and environmental sectors towards the issue of AMR, appropriate use of antibiotics in their individual sectors and also are in discussions with these sectors as to the optimal strategies for the future and for implementing the National Action Plan.

In El Salvador – The Ministry of Health approached ReAct

The Ministry of Health, El Salvador approached ReAct to help them initiate the country’s work in antibiotic resistance. ReAct co-organized the first national meeting on antibiotic resistance in El Salvador, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization, and the People’s Health Movement of Latin America. The event was held to promote development of the national platform on antibiotic resistance with a multi-sectoral holistic approach, in the context of well being. ReAct was requested to share experiences from their years of working in the field, providing country-level examples to inform and to support the work in El Salvador. As the process moved on, ReAct worked with the National Focal Point to review and input into the draft National Action Plan.


A participant reports back to the group on what she thinks are, the learnings from the week and steps needed to advance the response to antibiotic resistance in El Salvador.

During the meeting International Program For Collaboration And Exchange Of Knowledge And Experiences on Antibiotic Resistance in El Salvador, stakeholders from relevant ministries and civil society organizations were brought together to discuss antibiotic resistance and learn from ReAct’s experiences working in other regions around the world.

ReAct activities on the ground

From awareness raising, to infection control and initiatives to improve the use of antibiotics, a multitude of actions are needed to address antibiotic resistance. Acting as a catalyst, ReAct aims to engage everyone from the public sector to civil society, calling on stakeholders from health, agriculture, environment, economic, and development sectors to integrate antibiotic resistance into their ongoing work. ReAct mobilizes its partners, encourages dialogue with decision-makers and engages in key debates affecting the issue. Through community mobilization, knowledge-sharing and capacity building, ReAct aims to equip individuals and organizations with the tools and resources to facilitate action. These initiatives often take place alongside and are complementary to the development and implementation of National Action Plans.