MTaPS’ goal in Uganda is to assist the country to bolster its capacity to contain antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by slowing the emergence of resistant bacteria and preventing the spread of resistant infections. Toward this end, MTaPS uses a systems strengthening approach to build the capacity of in-country stakeholders and facilities to implement evidence-based interventions that bolster multisectoral coordination for AMR containment and strengthen systems and practices for infection prevention and control (IPC) and optimal use of antimicrobial medicines.
Uganda is among the African countries that have made strides to contain AMR. In 2019, the country ratified a national action plan (NAP) on AMR and has developed a National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) to address gaps identified during the 2017 Joint External Evaluation assessment of Uganda’s capacity in AMR and other International Health Regulation (IHR) areas.
The NAP and NAPHS reflect the recommendations of WHO’s global action plan on AMR and IHR on a multisectoral approach to AMR that emphasizes country leadership and ownership. MTaPS is supporting the national technical working group and the national AMR sub-committee to implement a One Health approach to AMR in the country. Specific MTaPS activities include helping to set up technical working groups on IPC and AMR and capacitating them to monitor progress in NAP implementation and to analyze, share, and use AMS and IPC data for learning and decision making.
Infection prevention and control
To strengthen the IPC program at the central level, MTaPS is helping to build the capacity of the national IPC committee and secretariat to lead and oversee the IPC program and to develop and monitor implementation of annual IPC workplans. Other activities include working with the Ministry of Health to revise national IPC guidelines, conduct a national baseline audit, and use the collected data to inform prioritization of multimodal IPC interventions. At the sub-national level, MTaPS is supporting selected hospitals to set up IPC programs. This support includes action plan development and implementation, trainings, monitoring and evaluation, and advocacy on IPC practices.
MTaPS’ antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) activities focus on both the human and animal health sectors. MTaPS is supporting the National Drug Authority (NDA) to strengthen data management systems that monitor the volume of antibiotics imported and manufactured in the country. To promote appropriate antibiotic use at the hospital level, MTaPS is helping selected public and private health facilities set up AMS centers of excellence and implement quality improvement approaches. MTaPS supports the country’s One Health AMS technical working group and is working with the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries (MAAIF) to strengthen AMS governance. Specifically, MTaPS is supporting the MAAIF and NDA to update the veterinary essential medicines list and antibiotic use guidelines for the agricultural sector.