Multidisciplinary and Multisectoral Coalitions as Catalysts for Action against Antimicrobial Resistance: Implementation Experiences at National and Regional Levels
The multi-faceted complexities of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) require consistent action, a multidisciplinary approach, and long-term political commitment. Building coalitions can amplify stakeholder efforts to carry out effective AMR prevention and control strategies. We have developed and implemented an approach to help local stakeholders kick-start the coalition-building process. The five-step process is to (1) mobilise support, (2) understand the local situation, (3) develop an action plan, (4) implement the plan, and (5) monitor and evaluate. We first piloted the approach in Zambia in 2004, then used the lessons learned to expand it for use in Ethiopia and Namibia and to the regional level through the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network [EPN]. Call-to-action declarations and workshops helped promote a shared vision, resulting in the development of national AMR action plans, revision of university curricula to incorporate relevant topics, infection control activities, engagement with journalists from various mass media outlets, and strengthening of drug quality assurance systems. Our experience with the coalition-building approach in Ethiopia, Namibia, Zambia, and with the EPN shows that coalitions can form in a variety of ways with many different stakeholders, including government, academia, and faith-based organisations, to organise actions to preserve the effectiveness of existing antimicrobials and contain AMR.