The Mérieux Foundation organizes the first national antimicrobial resistance workshop in Laos
From May 29 to 31, 2023, the Mérieux Foundation organized a workshop on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Vientiane, Laos, supported by the Fleming Fund. This workshop aimed to support the implementation of the national AMR action plan and improve laboratory capacities for the diagnosis and surveillance of AMR.
The workshop was attended by almost 80 participants, including hospital directors, clinicians, doctors specializing in infectious diseases, pharmacists, microbiologists and IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) nurses, from 12 hospitals in Laos. The Foundation has also brought together government organisations: the Department of Communicable Disease Control (DCDC), the Food and Drug Department (FDD), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit (LOMWRU).
Over the three days, the participants achieved the following objectives:
- Improve the diagnosis and surveillance system by applying a simple and appropriate methodology
- Optimize the use of antibiotics by following guidelines for using antibiotics and learning how to treat the main multiresistant bacteria
- Improve knowledge of infection prevention and control practices, for AMR surveillance
- Understand how microbiologists, clinicians, pharmacists and infection control practitioners can work together to tackle antimicrobial resistance by teaching them how to manage antibiotics and by introducing a management committee at the hospital.
The workshop highlighted the importance of collaboration between clinicians, microbiologists, IPC practitioners and pharmacists in establishing sustainable and effective antibiotic management programs adapted to each situation (availability of antimicrobial treatments, local epidemiology, resistance models, laboratory capacities, diagnosis management, etc.).
The participants attended presentations on the epidemiology of AMR and the role of health professionals in tackling AMR in hospitals. Plenary sessions and group workshops took place on the treatment of patients infected with resistant bacteria.
The participants attended presentations on the epidemiology of AMR and the role of health professionals in tackling AMR in hospitals. Discussions also took place on the treatment of patients infected with resistant bacteria. The workshop took place in an interactive format (case studies, online form, online participation), allowing the participants to interact with experts and the audience. This format helped the participants to share their experiences, concerns, challenges and knowledge with the audience.
The ease of access to antibiotics in community pharmacies, including sales without a medical prescription, has been identified as a major problem contributing towards antimicrobial resistance.
About the Fleming Fund
This workshop benefited from the financial support of the Fleming Fund, a UK aid program to help improve the diagnosis, surveillance and prevention of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), as well as the appropriate use of antibiotics, provided by the Department of Health and Social Care in more than 25 countries, including Laos.
The project involves several partners, including the Mérieux Foundation and the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology (NCLE).