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Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention

Successful Global-NAMRIP conference in Uganda

Published: 15 March 2019
Group working
Discussing future collaborative grant proposals

The 2nd Global-NAMRIP conference brought together over 140 delegates from 7 different countries, all focussed on tackling the issue of Antimicrobial Resistance.

One particular outcome was the wealth of immediate concrete outputs to benefit the wider world that were born in this four-day meeting.

The conference was funded by a GCRF fund awarded to Professor Leighton, founder of Global-NAMRIP and organised by an Organising Committe within Uganda led by Professor Nazarius Mbona Tumwesigye from Makerere University.  Support was also given by Sloan Water Technology Limited.

 

A whole society engagement
A whole society engagement

The theme of the conference, held in Kampala, Uganda, from 4-7 March 2019, was “Innovations towards combating antimicrobial resistance: a whole society engagement”. Over 140 delegates represented a range of disciplines including healthcare, animal husbandry, food supply and retail, water suppliers, chemists, engineers researching new rapid diagnostic tools and therapies, and social scientists who examine behaviour in response to the AMR crisis. All delegates are working together towards a ‘whole society engagement’ approach to this issue.

 

Ministers
(l to r) Stephen Mugabi, N.Tumwesigye, T. Leighton, Henry Mwebesa

 

We were honoured to welcome a number of VIP’s to the conference who presented talks at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Dr Henry Mwebesa, Director General of Health at the Ministry of Health in Uganda, spoke of how the challenges of AMR have only recently been highlighted and the country is now adopting the national policy to tackle the issue. He noted that AMR requires a multisector approach with different players. He specifically invited the conference to write ‘The Kampala Declaration on AMR’ to assist the work of his, and other Ministries, in their Governmental response to the threat of AMR

Some of the conference delegates
Some of the conference delegates

From the Ministry of Water and Environment, Stephen Mugabi the Commissioner of Environmental Services talked about the challenges his department face addressing AMR.

Professor Rhoda Wanyenze, the Dean of the School of Public Health expressed her appreciation to the Southampton team for choosing to collaborate with Makerere University. She called upon the delegates to work together and collaborate across multiple projects to compete for the available grants. At the end of the conference, she praised the progress made, and declared that AMR would now be included in her faculty’s taught programme.

Introductions
Networking opportunities during coffee breaks

The Deputy Vice Chancellor responsible for finance Professor William Bazeyo, spoke of the threat of AMR and his belief in innovation and networks to help address the issue. He and the Dean plan to work together to identify funding to support the implementation of the outcomes from the conference, in particular the pump priming projects identified during the team-building sessions on the last day of the meeting. Having met such a strong delegation from the physics and engineering members of Global-NAMRIP’s UK branch, he also proposed a scholarship fund to support the Head of Physics of Makerere University to go to Southampton University to see in more detail this multidisciplinary approach to AMR.

In line with Global-NAMRIP’s multidisciplinary approach, Professor Charles Ibingira, Principal of the  College of Health Sciences talked about the fight against AMR requiring engineers, veterinarians, biostaticians and other professionals. He spoke of gaps within the taught programme in terms of AMR which he is looking to address.

Following an introduction by Ibrahim Mugerwa from the Ministry of Health, the delegates were delighted to see the pupils from Clever's Origin Junior School, Kitintale, Uganda present a specially written poem on AMR.

 

Interview
Professor Leighton being interviewed by Ugandan TV

During the conference, Global-NAMRIP members from the respective countries presented the national AMR policies from Uganda, Liberia, Malawi, Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia and the UK. This was followed by a discussion panel that compared and contrasted the approaches taken by each country and a paper is currently being prepared comparing the different strategies.

 

 

Young Innovator
A Young innovator demonstrating her invention

Young innovators attended the conference showing delegates their inventions including a low cost automatic pill dispensing unit and water purification system.

TV and radio hosts attended to interview the organisers and delegates.

 

Presenter
Interesting AMR talks presented over 4 days

 

 

As well as presentations and posters, the delegates worked together in groups to start drafting outline grant proposals for future funding applications, to continue the momentum created during the  conference.

Concluding the 4 day event, Professor Leighton expressed his thanks to Makerere University and especially to the Organising Committee - Professor Nazarius Mbona Tumwesigye (Chair of the Organising Committee), Dr Henry Kajumbula (co-Chair of the Organising Committes), Mr Ibrahim Mugerwa (Ministry of Health, Uganda), Prof Fred Wabwire-Mangen (co-Chair Scientific Committe), Dr Esther Buregyeya (Member), Dr Dorothy Okello (Member), Ms Cissie Namanda (Member) and Ms Max Walusimbi (Member) for organising an invaluable conference.

Supporting Professor Leighton, the team who travelled to Uganda to represent Global-NAMRIP were Professor Charles Keevil, Dr Collin Sones, Dr Parwez Hossain, Dr Charlotte Veal, Professor Alex Hughes, Dr Merlin Willcox, Dr Marcela Fernandez Garcia and Professor Xunli Zhang (all from the UK), Dr Alister Munthali (Malawi), Dr Don Mathanga (Malawi), Nadoris Nador (Liberia), Hagos Atalay (Ethiopia), Dr Abdhala Ziraba (Kenya) and Dr Priscillia Nortey (Ghana).

 

UK Team
Some of the UK team being acknowledged
Organisers
Special thanks to the conference organisers in Uganda

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