Rejuvenation of Antimicrobial Resistance Activities in Nigeria
Technical working groups (TWGs) hinge on regular engagement of members to crystalize actions and drive their agendas forward. The Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Technical Working Group (TWG), hosted by the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) comprises five sub-committees or pillars—awareness/education, surveillance, antimicrobial stewardship (AMS), infection prevention and control (IPC), and research. As the technical arm of the TWG, members of the five pillars meet ahead of the routine quarterly TWG meeting to agree on the technical direction of the TWG. However, due to initial technical delays, the AMS and IPC pillars had only met once, virtually, since the AMR TWG was inaugurated in January 2017.
The USAID MTaPS Program, in partnership with the NCDC, organized a retreat for members of the AMS and IPC pillars. Held at Masaka in Nassarawa State March 24–25 for AMS and March 26–27 for IPC, it was the first in-person meeting for both groups. Twenty-five members from each pillar participated in the event. The retreat reconvened the TWG members to revisit their understanding of roles and responsibilities, explore the challenges affecting the groups’ functionality, and plan for better engagement going forward. The key event outcomes included terms of reference and work plans for each pillar.
“For Nigeria to get it right with the fight against antimicrobial resistance, the critical issues of access and responsible use for antimicrobials must be addressed. This retreat has spawned brilliant ideas that I believe will move us forward in this fight” stated Dr. Oluwadamilola Abiodun-Adewusi, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Lagos.
In Nigeria, MTaPS aims to strengthen technical and managerial capacities within the human and animal health systems under the program’s mandate for the Global Health Security Agenda. The activities have enabled the AMS and IPC pillars to understand their roles and plan their activities better. MTaPS’ Nigeria country team will continue to promote the goals of the AMR TWG and plans to follow up with its secretariat and the pillar leads on their work plans and provide ongoing guidance to advance implementation.