National Action Plans (NAPs) are essential tools used by governments to address the global threat posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR). NAPs provide a framework of sequence of actions to align activities of different stakeholders in different sectors toward one large goal of mitigating AMR.
In 2017, the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ), with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) developed its first NAP for AMR (2017-2022)1.
The NAP for AMR (2017-2022) was implemented across the human and animal health, agriculture, and environment sectors. A multi-sectoral coordinating committee was set up, with members from the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC), the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water&Rural Development (MoLAFWRD) and the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism&Hospitality Industry (MoECTHI) to oversee the implementation of the NAP for AMR (2017-2022).
Zimbabwe’s NAP for AMR (2017-2022) is concluding at the end of this year. Preparations for the new NAP for (2023-2027) are already underway. FAO’s Progressive Management Pathway for AMR tool was used to evaluate the implementation progress, gaps and challenges of the first NAP. One of the gaps identified was poor costing and budgeting. Therefore, the WHO conducted a 3-day training of 14 National Costing Coordinators using the recently launched WHO costing and budgeting tool for the AMR NAP 2. The costing tool seeks to assist countries to coordinate and budget for the successful implementation of AMR NAPs. Costing coordinators are being trained to optimally use resources to achieve the best possible outcome for the implementation of the NAP.
In his welcoming remarks, MoHCC Chief Director of Public Health, Dr Munyaradzi Dobbie emphasized on the importance of planning, costing and budgeting NAPs on AMR.
The training took place in Kadoma from 21-23 June 2022, 14 costing coordinators from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water&Rural Development and the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism&Hospitality Industry now have the technical capacity to cost and budget for the new AMR NAP. The WHO AMR experts Dr Alessandro Patriarchi and Mr Paul Verboom, taught participants key components and functionalities of the tool and provided them with hands-on training of its usage through a series of practical exercises.
“This is one of the most robust, but simplest excel model costing tools that I have ever seen. I can now cost any project using this model, even animal health and welfare, and food safety projects” noted Dr Lawrence Dinginya, Acting Deputy Director of Veterinary Public Health who was one of the participants from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water&Rural Development.
To support countries in costing prioritized activities of their NAP and identifying existing funding as well as funding gaps, the WHO developed the WHO Costing and Budgeting Tool for AMR NAPs. Anand Balachandran, unit head of AMR NAP implementation at WHO HQ, noted how a well-costed NAP for AMR promotes efficient use of scarce resources. “In many instances, AMR NAPs are aspirational and exist as stand-alone documents, not linked to wider sectoral plans or budgets. Those making funding decisions need to understand the cost of activities, what is already funded, and how to leverage additional funding,” noted Mr Balachandran.
Dr Laetitia Gahimbare, Technical Officer, AMR Surveillance, Evidence&Laboratory Strengthening at WHO AFRO, commended the GOZ’s efforts and reaffirmed AFRO`s commitment to supporting Zimbabwe in the next steps of prioritizing, costing, budgeting, and updating of the new AMR NAP 2023-27. She also urged for “trained coordinators and national colleagues to become ambassadors of the costing and budgeting tool and its value, and support efforts to build the capacity of other African countries.”
Following the workshop, the costing coordinators and the multisectoral coordinating committee will meet to cost activities for two new projects to be funded by the International Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Solutions (ICARS) and the new AMR NAP.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organzation (WHO) - Zimbabwe.