Through extensive capacity building efforts, with training of eleven staff, data collection of antimicrobial use (AMU) in animals in Timor-Leste has been strengthened. The country has developed a routine and consistent method for quantifying AMU in animals, and has been able to improve data submitted for inclusion in the “OIE Annual report on antimicrobial agents intended for use in animals”.
Accurate information on the use of antimicrobial agents at the country and global level is crucial for informing strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance. Previously, the calculation of antimicrobial agents intended for use in animals in Timor-Leste was conducted on an ad hoc basis without consistent methods. Over the course of a year, there have been considerable capacity building efforts to improve methods for quantifying AMU in animals in the country, with strong support from the Menzies School of Health Research, Australia.
Ministry staff involved in the recording and calculation of AMU data in Timor-Leste have benefited from ongoing side-by-side mentorship. This will continue until at least June 2021.
These mentoring sessions were supplemented by three workshops on “Recording and calculating AMU”, held in the capital city, Dili (on 24 and 29 July and 1 September 2020). The training was based on the AMU calculation template provided by the OIE. As the OIE template is continuously evolving, there are plans for refresher training in 2021.
As a result of capacity building efforts, the following were achieved:
Obtaining reliable AMU data is often challenging in low-to-middle income countries. Long-term side-by-side mentorship and training sessions (funded by a Fleming Fund Country Grant) have resulted in a routine and consistent method for quantifying AMU in animals on an annual basis. Implementation of this has resulted in more accurate recording of data and more timely reporting to the OIE.
Report prepared by Dr Joanita Jong, OIE Delegate, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Timor-Leste