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Enhancing the Management of Antimicrobial Resistance (EMAR) in Fiji
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a human caused environmental challenge. Furthermore, the global stock of antibiotics, which is a non-renewable resource, is on the decline. In the Paciﬁc region including Fiji, the occurrence of AMR, its causes, impact, and sustainable ways of managing it are poorly understood; sustainable management of complex problems such as AMR is important in cost- effective management of complex and disruptive threats, resulting in saving of scarce resources particularly for low income countries such as Fiji.
To understand the magnitude of the AMR problem, a situational and needs assessment was ﬁrst done in 2018 together with various stakeholders from the human, animal health, and the environment sectors to identify gaps in the management of AMR. Afterwards, the Enhancing the Management of Antimicrobial Resistance (EMAR) project was co- designed, co-developed, and co-implemented together with all the National Antimicrobial Resistance Committee (NARC) members such as the Ministry of Health & Medical Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji National University, and University of South Paciﬁc. EMAR project is one of the projects under the Research for One Health System Strengthening (ROHSS) being managed by Australia Centre for Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and DFAT’s Indo-Paciﬁc Centre for Health Security.
Aim and focal areas
The EMAR project is based on complexity science and interdisciplinary research and considers health systems (human, animal and environmental) as complex adaptive systems that are interconnected. The aim of the project is to enhance the integrated management of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through existing national structures, resulting in sustainability and improved health outcomes in Fiji. The project has six interlinked focal areas namely:
- Integrated AMR surveillance
- Laboratory capacity building
- Economics and risk analysis
- AMR governance
- Antimicrobial stewardship
- Policy and community engagement
Expected change, outcome, and impacts
The EMAR project will increase knowledge on the occurrence of AMR in the Paciﬁc region across the food, health, environment, water nexus. This will consequently lead to increased knowledge on how best to manage AMR in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. The overall impact will be improved wellbeing of people and animals as well as ecosystem resilience. Additionally, the Paciﬁc region more broadly will be the ultimate beneﬁciary from the project success, due to lowered risk of AMR spread under a regional public goods perspective.
Project partners include Commonwealth Scientiﬁc and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), University of South Australia, University Technology Sydney, NARC members, FNU, USP, SPC, WHO, and FAO.
The project is funded by ACIAR and DFAT.