ReAct has for many years focused much effort on driving the issue of antibiotic resistance up the global political agenda. Today global political awareness about antibiotic resistance has reached unprecedented levels. Now 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.
Anna Zorzet, Head of ReAct Europe says:
“We are very grateful and motivated. This renewed funding from Sida gives us the opportunity to continue our work on antibiotic resistance, both with a global and local perspective. Awareness and actions on antibiotic resistance are on the rise, but there is still much to do. With this long-term support from Sida we can continue to address antibiotic resistance, in particular the needs in low- and middle-income countries.”
Sida a long-term funder
Since its inception in 2005, ReAct’s main funder has been the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The renewed core funding from Sida is for the period 2019-2022 and will be used to maintain the work of the network and its activities under the new strategic plan.
Low resource settings in focus
The world’s collective response to antibiotic resistance will only be as strong as the weakest healthcare delivery and food production system will allow. This is why it is crucial that solutions are sustainable and workable also in resource limited contexts, countries and populations. ReAct works to ensure that this reality is presented and understood at all political levels. Through all four of ReAct’s new strategic objectives the efforts will be done with the lens of low and middle-income countries’ settings.
The four objectives that will guide ReAct’s work in the next five years are:
- National action plans
- Movement building
- Globally coordinated governance
- Public health driven innovation
Provide support to develop and implement National action plans
More than 85 percent of the world’s population live in countries that have either developed or is in the process of developing a National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. Many countries now face the task of implementing their plans and securing the financing to do so. However, only very few of the published National Action Plans in low- and middle-income countries are based on a situational analysis. ReAct provides support to countries in their work to develop and implement National Action Plans.
For a greater change we need civil society to engage
Without effective civil society mobilization and participation, any response, whether robust or weak, will risk not taking into account the particular challenges that local communities face. Over the last five years some coalitions, communities and movements to address antibiotic resistance have emerged, including the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition (ARC), which was initiated with support from ReAct. ReAct will continue to facilitate the building of strategic connections and collective mobilization to address antibiotic resistance across sectors.
Concerted action needs global coordination
Establishing effective global governance will be critical to deliver a long-term, sustained and inclusive response to antibiotic resistance. Discussions about future global governance of antimicrobial resistance have now been initiated and will likely accelerate over the next five years. ReAct’s challenge is to ensure that such discussions consider the needs, challenges and priorities of low- and middle-income countries in a manner that ensures sustainable access to effective antibiotics.
Innovation should be needs driven
Innovation is needed across a number of areas, and it is critical that it is targeted to where the needs are the greatest. Development of new antibiotics is one critical need, but there is equally a need for research and development of complementary tools to reduce the disease burden and the unnecessary use of antibiotics both in the human and animal sectors. Other forms of innovation, such as social innovations that can influence perceptions and practices, that could contribute to reducing antibiotic resistance have largely been overlooked by funders so far. ReAct will work with partners to demand a comprehensive and public health driven research agenda that prioritize the particular needs of low- and middle-income countries.
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