The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


17 Jul 2020

COMBAT-AMR: Combating the threat of antimicrobial resistance in Pacific Island Countries

A consortium of organisations from around the world, including the Doherty Institute, are partnering with Pacific Island countries to address the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Made possible through a grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security, the two and a half year project named

COMBAT-AMR: Combating the threat of antimicrobial resistance in Pacific Island Countries has started providing training, mentorship and capacity building in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

AMR poses a major and rapidly growing threat to public health globally. Available evidence suggests that there is a disproportionate burden of multi-drug resistant AMR pathogens in low to middle income countries, primarily due to under-resourced health systems.

The COMBAT-AMR program is taking a One Health approach and will focus on infection prevention and control, antimicrobial stewardship, laboratory capacity and surveillance and animal health.

The Doherty Institute’s Professors Ben Howden and Kirsty Buising are leading the program.

“The magnitude and nature of the AMR problem in the Pacific region remains poorly understood due to limited data and microbiological testing capacity,” Professor Howden said.

“As in many countries, surveillance has previously been fragmented without routine reporting, analysis and interpretation of results for clinical management and public health responses.”

 A number of Pacific Island countries have national plans to address AMR.

“Effective and sustainable approaches that align with these national AMR action plans are needed,” Professor Buising said.

“Tackling identified health system weaknesses, and addressing the issue through a One Health approach will build national capacity and both national and regional health security for AMR and other infectious diseases.”

Consortium partners:

  • Doherty Institute 
  • University of Melbourne Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences
  • Burnet Institute 
  • Massey University, NZ
  • Pacific Pathology Training Centre (PPTC)
  • Pacific Region Infectious Disease Association (PRIDA)
  • Alfred Health Infectious Diseases Department 
  • WaterAid 
  • WHO Collaborating Centre for Surveillance of AMR, Boston USA