Management of animal diseases and antimicrobial use by information and communication technology to control AMR in East Africa
In low-income countries (LICs), patterns of livestock diseases and antimicrobial use (AMU) are largely unknown, and there are few high-quality laboratory facilities. Robust and actor-centred surveillance systems are needed and surveillance of the dynamics leading to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) should precede more advanced systems. The project is designed to provide proof of concept, applying a framework for surveillance of: AMU, diseases that trigger AMU and perceived problems with AMR, in East African poultry production systems. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will be coupled with veterinary epidemiology and social science methods. The originality lies in using frontline technology particularly suited for challenges in resource-poor settings. The overall objective is to provide an ICT framework for monitoring and control of AMU and AMR in livestock in LICs. The project will assess if veterinary “telemedicine” coupled with ICT systems can change AMU. Baseline data on AMU practices and actors involved will be collected, followed by a Knowledge-Attitudes-Practices study. A platform to register drug purchases and a database to monitor drug sales will be developed along with a mobile application for delivery of animal health advice and information about AMR. The ICT framework will be pilot-tested in selected poultry production systems in Kenya and Uganda. The framework can be expanded in the future to allow inclusion of diagnostic tools, but the initial focus is on clinical diagnosis based on tele-consultation and evidence-based therapeutic strategies.
- Susanna Sternberg Lewerin, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden (Coordinator)
- Florence Mutua, International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya (Partner)
- Lawrence Mugisha, Makerere University (MAK), Uganda (Partner)
- Joshua Onono, University of Nairobi, Kenya (Observer)
MAD-tech-AMR (Management of animal diseases and antimicrobial use by information and communication technology to control antimicrobal resistance in East Africa) is a JPIAMR project in collaboration between researchers in SLU, ILRI, University of Nairobi and Makerere University The overall objective of the project is to provide an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) framework for improved monitoring and control of antimicrobial use (AMU) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in livestock in Low- and middle income countries. The project will run between 2020 and 2023. Antibiotics are powerful medical tools that allow curing of serious infectious diseases in people and animals. However, all use of antibiotics trigger bacteria to develop resistance to those drugs (AMR). Resistant bacteria cause non-treatable infections in animals and people. Some resistant bacteria can transmit between people and animals (zoonotic bacteria). Such transmission can occur via direct contact, via food or the environment. In addition, the bacterial genes that convey resistance can be exchanged between different bacteria. This increases the risk of AMR transmission between people and animals, as resistance genes can move between bacteria in the different hosts. MAD-tech-AMR will develop a framework for surveillance of AMU, diseases that trigger AMU and perceived problems with AMR, for field testing in East African poultry production systems. The project will assess if veterinary telemedicine coupled with ICT systems can change AMU and provide added value to the stakeholders involved. Baseline data on AMU practices will be collected, and incentives and barriers to prudent AMU explored. A platform to register drug purchases and a database to monitor drug sales will be developed along with a mobile application for animal health advice and information about AMR. The ICT framework will be pilot-tested in poultry production systems in Kenya and Uganda. If successful, the concept can be upscaled for continuous AMR and AMU monitoring and improving animal health.