In Pakistan, HSP has been supporting the work of the U.K. Fleming Fund, which is an effort to improve antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance in low income countries and increase relevant data for informed decision making related to antimicrobial use. One of the primary objectives of this partnership is to establish national reference laboratories with well-trained staff capable of utilizing genomic data to identify resistance mechanisms and trends in the community.
To achieve this goal, HSP and the Superior University, Lahore hosted a virtual workshop in early June with 19 staff members from the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Veterinary Laboratory (NVL), and National Reference Laboratory for Poultry Diseases (NRLPD), to help build their capacity to do this work. The training focused on handling and analyzing genomic sequencing data, a topic that lends itself well to a virtual training while COVID-19 remains a concern. This topic was chosen because successful use of these technologies allows laboratory staff to more easily visualize and identify how resistance is gained by bacteria and spread through the community.
The workshop consisted of live Zoom lectures, hands-on activities, discussions, various assignments, all of which was informed by a training needs assessment (TNA) to identify what knowledge gaps existed amongst the course participants. These trainings have equipped these laboratory workers with the latest knowledge on how to use data derived from genomic sequencing technologies to help combat and contain antimicrobial resistant bacteria, which will result in more judicious use of the antibiotics we all need.