In early June this year, policymakers, researchers, government and private sector representatives from Kenya, Germany and Uganda met in Uganda to kick-off investments in Uganda’s livestock sector through the #BuildUganda Program which has been funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Corporation and Development (BMZ) and the Consultative Group for International Agricultural and Research (CGIAR) research programs on Livestock and Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). The project entails four components, namely, control and eradication of peste des petits ruminants and other diseases affecting small ruminants, controlling zoonotic disease like Rift valley fever affecting cattle, mitigating the risks of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the poultry value chain and improving veterinary public health at the abattoirs.
Scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) are looking at using phages to kill strains of bacteria that are known to cause disease in poultry farms in Kenya. A collaborative project between the Laval University in Canada, and ILRI, funded through Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the UK government’s Global AMR Innovation Fund managed by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), hope to find alternatives to antibiotics by using phages. The lead scientist, a Canadian virologist, Nicholas Svitek says “it will be very critical to identify and use the best phages that will target the correct bacterial population. We are very excited to be working on such a project and grateful for donors and partners to be able to facilitate such research’.
Launched today by Rose Ademun, Commissioner for Animal Health from the Minister of State for Animal Industry in the Uganda Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), #BuildUganda is a research for development collaboration to prevent and tackle animal diseases and zoonoses in Uganda. Led by MAAIF, and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), it mobilizes national and international research and development partners from Uganda, Kenya and Germany. The five-year program is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the CGIAR Research Programs on Livestock and on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). One of the four components in the #BuildUganda program focuses on the mitigation of antimicrobial resistance in poultry.
The CGIAR Antimicrobial Resistance Hub, led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), applies a One Health approach to support the efforts of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in controlling agriculture-associated AMR risks, through promoting and facilitating transdisciplinary partnerships.
The recently adopted CGIAR AMR strategy recognizes the need for evidence on links between agriculture (crops, livestock and aquaculture) and public health outcomes. Based on evidence generated, the hub develops solutions that are locally relevant and applicable, while being adaptable to other contexts.
We conduct context-driven and systems-oriented research that combines social and biological sciences. With AMR research in agriculture and aquaculture and understanding linkages to public health outcomes, we can reap solutions emerging from our transdisciplinary approach.
We aim to reduce and refine AMU in agriculture and aquaculture and its impact on the environment, and to facilitate evidence-based communication around agriculture-associated AMR. This will help to mitigate AMR risks for people and contributes to improving the sustainability of global food and health systems.
The implementation framework of our strategy is organized into five pillars.
Judiciously addressing antimicrobial resistance is especially important in low- and middle-income countries, where poverty exacerbates cycles of inequity
Tackling antimicrobial resistance helps sustain small-scale agriculture and aquaculture and improve poor people’s access to nourishing food
Particularly in poorer countries already facing a high disease burden, antimicrobial resistance increases the likelihood that medical and veterinary treatments will fail
The problem of antimicrobial resistance can exacerbate gender inequality by increasing the risks faced by female primary caregivers of contracting antimicrobial-resistant infections
Over- and misuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs can contaminate soil and water resources, endangering people’s access to safe drinking water
It has been estimated that if not stemmed, antimicrobial resistance could cost the global economy up to USD100 trillion by 2050
Rational use of antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs in good animal and fish husbandry practices is key to safeguarding the longer-term effectiveness of these important drugs
Only large networks of interdisciplinary partnerships and collaborators will be able to meet the many challenges presented by the growing development of antimicrobial resistance