Health in Africa

Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2021: Zimbabwe’s initiatives to prevent and contain AMR

A look at the steps taken by the Government of Zimbabwe to contain AMR in the country

By Slyvia Yomisi
Published: Wednesday 24 November 2021

The Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry in Zimbabwe is committed to the containment of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the environment.

This commitment was shown by the signing of the National Action Plan (NAP) by the then minister of the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industries, Oppah Muchinguri in 2017, which is further supported by the current minister. 

Key activities

AMR Surveillance

One of the key pillars of the NAP is surveillance. The environment sector, through the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is actively involved in the surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in the environment.

So far, 32 surveillance points have been established in two major cities, that is Harare and Bulawayo. At the moment, the Agency can only track resistance in the environment.

However, it is unable to determine residual antibiotics as this requires an LC-MS-MS which the Environmental Management Agency Laboratory (EMAL), does not have.

AGISAR project

The EMAL took part in the WHO Advisory Group on Integrated Antimicrobial Resistance (AGISAR). A total of 119 samples were analysed under this project.

Tricycle Project

Currently, EMAL is involved in the tricycle project which is tracking ESBL (E.coli) in the environment, animal and human sectors. So far, eight sampling points have been established in Harare and Marondera. A total of 40 samples have been collected so far and analysis is still underway.

Views expressed are the author’s own and don’t necessarily reflect those of Down To Earth

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