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COMBAT-AMR: implementation of a One Health capacity building program across Paciﬁc Island Countries
COMBAT- AMR works in partnership with government, National AMR Committees and public health counterparts in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, to implement capacity building and training activities to support the prevention, diagnosis, surveillance, and management of AMR pathogens, under the framework of National AMR Action Plans and priorities. COMBAT-AMR is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Indo- Paciﬁc Centre for Health Security.
COMBAT-AMR delivers a program of work at major national sites, including referral hospitals and laboratories, across four key themes: (1) infection prevention and control; ( 2 ) antimicrobial stewardship; ( 3 ) laboratory capacity and surveillance; (4) animal health.
Under the infection prevention and control (IPC) theme, we have worked with the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH), Suva, Fiji, to support hand hygiene auditing, monitoring, and data collection, developed healthcare associated infection (HAIs) audit tools, reviewed and provided templates for standard operating procedures as well as participated in the Infection Control Committee (ICC) to provide technical support as needed.
In the antimicrobial steward (AMS) theme in Fiji, our project has provided training for 25 individuals representing Lautoka, Labasa and CWMH hospitals as well as Fiji Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Services (FPBS) with clinical and pharmacy background in antimicrobial auditing using the National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (NAPS). This survey provides the facilities an opportunity to observe prescribing trends within the hospital as well as carry out point prevalence surveys within the facility. In addition, we have worked with the team at the CWM hospital to support improvement monitoring, feedback and data collection.
The laboratory capacity and surveillance theme at CWM hospital, Suva, Fiji, has supported areas such as bacterial identiﬁcation, antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST), quality assurance and quality management, whole genome sequencing at the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDUPHL) in Melbourne, Australia, development of standard operating procedures, continuing remote support through online engagement and capacity building of four laboratory technician at the Doherty Institute, Australia in 2022.
The animal health theme has worked with the Ministry of Agriculture veterinarians and collaborated with The Paciﬁc Community (SPC) to develop an antimicrobial treatment guideline which can be used by paraveterinarians and veterinarians in the ﬁeld. This guideline has received endorsement f rom the respective ministry.
Moreover, the COMBAT- AMR project has collaborated with other partners in Fiji to support development and improvement in clinical governance, PCR testing and surveillance capabilities through capacity building exercises and activities addressing Carbapenemase resistant organisms.