By: Dr Rosanna Peeling, Professor and Chair of Diagnostic Research, Director of the International Diagnostics Centre (IDC), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

November 12 is the start of World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018, a World Health Organization (WHO) campaign to increase global awareness of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)  The Global Action Plan to tackle AMR ( was launched in May 2015 with the goal of ensuring our ability to treat and prevent infectious diseases with effective and safe medicines that are quality-assured, used responsibly, and accessible to all who need them. A key component of the Global Action Plan is enhanced global surveillance and research on AMR.   As part of this initiative, the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS) was launched to support a standardized approach to the collection, analysis and sharing of AMR data.   AMR surveillance is the cornerstone for assessing the burden of AMR, providing data for action in support of local, national and global AMR strategies, and for assessing the impact of interventions such as antimicrobial stewardship activities.

ASLM is playing a critical role in supporting African nations in the implementation of AMR strategies and plans of action. Recent activities include:

  • Supported the development of national guidelines for laboratory-based AMR surveillance
  • Advocated for the appointment of a national AMR reference laboratory by the Ministries of Health
  • Provided guidance and practical training on antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST), including a standardised national AST manual, the use of WHONET software for data management and for reporting to GLASS
  • Supported curricula development for an innovative, intensive four-week regional course for 12 sub-Saharan African countries on AMR and antimicrobial stewardship

ASLM is also working with closely with global partners on the Global Action Plan for AMR:

  • ASLM is collaborating with Africa CDC on development of the Africa CDC AMR Surveillance Network (AMRSNET), for which ASLM’s own Pascale Ondoa is the Chair
  • In collaboration with partners such as FIND and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, ASLM is adapting the LABNET scorecard to assess laboratory networks for their capacity to address AMR
  • ASLM is also leading two consortiums; one supports AMR fellowships and the other supports round 1 collection of AMR and AMU data in West, East and Southern Africa

ASLM will showcase its AMR work at the ASLM2018 conference 10-13 December 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria with a symposium on 11 December entitled “Combating Antimicrobial Resistance in Africa”, presented by Franciscus Koning (WHO) and Pascale Ondoa (ASLM). In addition, a special issue of the African Journal of Laboratory Medicine (AJLM) focused on AMR will be distributed during the conference as part of the proceedings. Register today to attend ASLM2018 at