News Scan for Feb 22, 2021

Australian AMR action plan
Ebola in Guinea, DRC

Australia releases One Health action plan for antimicrobial resistance

The Australian government late last week released a One Health Master Action Plan (OHMAP) to support the country's 2o20 antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategy.

The plan highlights areas the Australian government and other stakeholders need to focus on to achieve the seven objectives of the 202o AMR strategy, which established a 20-year vision to minimize the development and spread of AMR in humans, animals, and the environment. The objectives include clear governance for AMR initiatives, prevention and control of infections, greater public awareness of AMR, appropriate antibiotic use and stewardship practices, integrated surveillance, and a strong collaborative research agenda across all sectors.

To achieve these goals, the action plan calls for the creation of sustainable funding for AMR initiatives based on evidence of the economic and societal costs of drug-resistant infections, the adoption of evidence-based and nationally consistent standards for infection prevention and control, and the development of coordinated, evidence-based antibiotic prescribing guidelines across all sectors. It also calls for the creation of a One Health communication strategy, a national One Health surveillance system, and a national AMR research and development agenda.

"By implementing a One Health approach with the OHMAP guiding the way, Australia can minimise the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance and ensure the continued availability of effective antimicrobials," the plan states. "This will help achieve a healthier future for Australians."
Feb 19 Australia One Health Master Action Plan
Mar 13, 2020, Australia's National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy


Ebola infects 1 more in Guinea; 2 more deaths in DRC

Guinea added one more confirmed case to its Ebola total, the World Health Organization (WHO) African regional office said in an update on Twitter yesterday, which raises its total to eight cases, four of them lab-confirmed. So far, 348 contacts have been identified, of whom 91% are being monitored.

Today, the WHO said poor weather in Conakry has delayed the arrival of Ebola vaccine supplies sent by the WHO, which were due to arrive yesterday, with vaccination beginning today. For now, the 11,000 vaccine doses are in transit in Dakar.

The country is battling a recurrence of the disease that was first announced on Feb 14 and is occurring in the same area where West Africa's massive outbreak of 2014-2016 began.

Elsewhere, two more deaths were reported in earlier announced cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to media reports, including one from Agence France-Presse (AFP). The latest deaths would bring the country's fatality count to four.

So far, the official total in the DRC's recurrence is six cases, according the WHO, which said 736 contacts have been identified, including 73% who are being monitored. So far, 259 people have been vaccinated.

Media reports from the DRC quoting provincial health officials say a seventh case has been detected in North Kivu province, the daughter of an earlier confirmed case.
Feb 21 WHO African regional office tweet on latest Guinea update
Feb 22 WHO African regional office tweet on vaccine delay
Feb 21 AFP report
Feb 21 WHO African regional office tweet on DRC update
Feb 22 7sur7 report

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