Ethiopia has significantly enhanced the performance of its pharmaceutical system over the last two decades. However, weaknesses persist, particularly in the appropriate use of medicines, including antimicrobials. The goal of MTaPS in Ethiopia is to support the containment of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the country. Principal activities include developing the tools needed to effect systems change and reconfigure processes. The program is also building the capacity of in-country stakeholders to implement the national AMR action plan by engaging the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment Directorate [PMED] and Clinical Services Directorate [CSD]); regional health bureaus (RHBs); and the National Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance Containment as key partners in the process.
MTaPS is supporting the process for attaining high-level approval of the national AMR action plan and the establishment of an AMR prevention and containment unit within the FMOH that will provide leadership, facilitate coordination, and identify and allocate resources for implementation of the national AMR action plan. MTaPS will also mobilize health professional associations (medical, nursing, pharmacy, and laboratory) to form an alliance that advocates for AMR with parliamentarians and high-level government officials.
To strengthen the National AMR Advisory Committee’s operational capacity, MTaPS is facilitating the restructuring of the Committee by revising its terms of reference so that it can play both an advisory and a multisectoral coordinating role. As part of this assistance, MTaPS is supporting quarterly meetings of the National AMR Advisory Committee, in addition to providing technical assistance to the technical working groups that report to the Committee
Infection prevention and control
A key area of focus is building the capacity of the PMED, CSD, and RHBs to effectively design, implement, and monitor infection prevention and control (IPC) interventions. MTaPS is helping to strengthen the institutional and individual capacity of IPC committees and their members in selected health facilities. Activities include assisting health facilities in assessing their IPC situation and drafting implement plans to address areas that need improvement.
After working with the CSD to revise and finalize the IPC guidelines, MTaPS is now supporting national dissemination and introduction as well as practical implementation of IPC in selected referral hospitals. MTaPS is also working to boost the organizational capacity of the CSD and RHBs to manage IPC guideline updates, develop a national IPC implementation plan, provide training, conduct supportive supervision to facilities, monitor action plan implementation, and share lessons learned with facility IPC committees.
Optimizing antimicrobial use
MTaPS is assisting stakeholders to address priority elements of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) governance at both the central and facility levels. Areas of focus include supporting the revision and implementation of standard treatment guidelines in line with the World Health Organization’s Access, Watch, and Reserve (AWaRe) classification and the establishment of other key AMS guidance documents and governance processes.
In addition, MTaPS is providing technical support (trainings, supervision tools, and job aids) to capacitate PMED and CSD staff and 11 RHBs to assess, scale up, and monitor AMS implementation through supportive supervision of selected facilities.