Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global One Health—human, animal, and environmental— health concern. AMRhasreduced the ability of antimicrobial agents to effectively control infectious diseases caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi impacting negatively on global health security, healthcare, global trade, agriculture, and the environment. The consequences of AMR threaten the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals recently agreed upon by UN member countries.
It has been recognized that AMR is accelerated by misuse of antimicrobial agents and aggravated by a host of other factors. These include self-medication, unrestricted access to medicines, and both proper and improper use of medicines that allow drug-resistant organisms to flourish. Sites with high concentrations of antimicrobials, such as pharmaceutical industries, healthcare facilities, and agriculture, can discharge antimicrobial residues and resistant bacteria into the environment.
The current trend in AMR in Uganda and globally is rising and calls for immediate action. The 71st UN General Assembly (UNGA), the 68th World Health Assembly, and organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), have agreed on a set of actions that member countries such as Uganda are committed to implementing. The Government of Uganda (GoU) has put in place a framework through this National AMR Action Plan to address the threat AMR poses to the welfare of the peoples of Uganda. The Action Plan sets out a coordinated and collaborative One Health approach involving key stakeholders in government and other sectors to confront the threat and shall be coordinated by the Uganda National Antimicrobial Resistance Committee (UNAMRC). The Government will also work together with other governments, international organizations, and partners to address this global threat from AMR.
Although AMR cannot be eradicated, it can be reasonably slowed down and contained. The Ugandan Government is confident that this plan will help respond to the threats of AMR. The Government urges all stakeholders to develop specific plans of action in their respective institutions and sectors and to coordinate with the national effort to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat posed by AMR pathogens so that the people of Uganda are not subjected further to the burden of drug-resistant infections.