Date: 13 December 2018
£8.2 million NIHR Partnership on global health research and training on antimicrobial resistance
Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer has announced £8.2 million in funding to the AMR Structured Operational Research and Training Initiative (AMR SORT IT) which will be delivered through a partnership between the NIHR and the UNICEF/UNDP/ World Bank/ WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR).
AMR SORT IT will start in January 2019 and run for three years. It will support practitioners to bridge the gap between research and practice by providing training on how to use local and national AMR data to respond to drug-resistant infections. Training will be based on the well-tested ‘SORT IT’ approach implemented by TDR since 2012 and tailored to national AMR priorities in six low and middle-income countries (LMICs). These capacity development activities will complement investments in national AMR surveillance infrastructure made through the Department of Health and Social Care’s Fleming Fund and help unlock countries’ potential of utilising data to underpin improvements in AMR policy-making and national programme and service delivery.
The funding is part of the NIHR Global Health Research Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget which supports research for the direct and primary benefit of people in LMICs. This new collaboration with TDR increases the NIHR’s total ODA investment in AMR-related projects to £25 million.
AMR is a global public health challenge which has the potential to kill as many as 10 million people each year and cost the world economy as much as US$ 100 trillion. AMR allows infections to persist and spread within and across populations and renders standard antibiotic treatments ineffective, making even routine surgery potentially life-threatening. AMR SORT IT will empower LMICs to make better use of the information they collect to make evidence-based decisions and contribute to preventing and controlling the global spread of AMR.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer, said:
“Containing and controlling AMR as a global health threat will require investment in research at all levels from ‘bug to bedside’.
“We must improve our basic understanding of AMR while also strengthening health programmes if we are to adequately address this in countries where the burden of infection is greatest. This new partnership will fund research that aims to transform AMR policy and practice, and turn the tide against drug-resistant infections.”
Professor John Reeder, Director of TDR, said:
“The UK Government has been a strong, long-term supporter of our efforts to improve the capacity of disease-endemic countries to strengthen health interventions through appropriate research for implementation. We are delighted to join the NIHR in applying one of our most successful training models to improve the quality and availability of evidence for making critical decisions to fight the enormous threat of AMR.”
For more information on the NIHR Global Health Research Programmes and Partnerships visit www.nihr.ac.uk/globalhealth
 Includes £8.2 million NIHR-TDR partnership, £6.9 million allocation to the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Genomic Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and £9.9 million allocation to 2 calls under the Cross-Council Initiative on AMR.
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