Determinants of Health and Health Inequalities
Professor Shona Hilton talks about research into antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
School of Health and Wellbeing research theme
University of Glasgow research beacons
Supporting the National Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance (SNAP-AMR) in Tanzania
SNAP-AMR is a project funded by the Medical Research Council (GCRF). Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the ability of bacteria to resist the effect of drugs, is a threat to human and animal health in resource rich nations like the UK and low- and middle-income countries like the United Republic of Tanzania. In Tanzania, as in many low- and middle-income countries, the AMR problem is compounded by the fact that people and livestock often live close together and widespread use of antimicrobials in both. In response to a global call to action from the World Health Organisation, Tanzania has created an ambitious National Action Plan to combat AMR, including improving awareness and understanding of the AMR problem among policy makers, professionals and the public and enhancing surveillance, research, infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship in people and livestock. Successful implementation of the NAP is challenged by lack of human and financial resources, making prioritisation of activities and interventions an essential component of an effective and efficient campaign to control AMR.
Our research is providing new evidence to support this prioritisation and targeting, taking an approach that recognises that individuals are part of a larger system and that behaviour of professionals and the public may depend on policy, regulations or knowledge, but also on cultural background, social norms and access to medical, veterinary or diagnostic infrastructure and drugs. Our team of UK and Tanzania-based researchers and policy experts take an interdisciplinary approach, working with a wide range of biological and social scientists as well as health professionals and community members, to provide novel insights into cultural, socio-economic and biological drivers of antimicrobial use (AMU) in hospitals and the community and in contextually appropriate methods of communication around those issues.
We are currently analysing the data from a wide range of biological and social data to help design AMR awareness and infection prevention and control messages in hospitals and community settings. The combined outcomes of our research are helping priority setting in AMR control by identifying the settings where change is practicable and cost-effective. It is also helping to inform implementation of the National Action Plan in Tanzania and serves as a generalisable transdisciplinary model of AMR control in low and middle income country settings.