Workshop on development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

The antibiotics have saved millions of lives since they were first discovered. In animals, we use antibiotics for improving welfare and for enhancing the production. However, the indiscriminate use of these antibiotics has led to emergence of resistant bacteria in which antibiotics no longer work also known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The UK Government has established the Fleming Fund to respond to the global threat of drug-resistant infections.

Bhutan has received the UK government-based Fleming Fund Grant to improve the diagnosis of antimicribial resistant infections with an emphasis on antibiotics, to improve data management, surveillance and to inform policies/practices at national and international levels. The grant is aimed to improve the diagnosis and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in both human and animal health sectors.Under the Department of Livestock,  National Centre for Animal Health (NCAH) is being identified as the beneficiary institute and four laboratories (National Veterinary Laboratory (NCAH); National Food Testing Laboratory (BAFRA); Regional Livestock Development Centre (RLDC) (Kanglung); and Regional Livestock Development Centre (RLDC) (Tshimasham) as surveillance laboratories for the project.

One of the main aims of Fleming Fund Project is to strengthen microbiology laboratory capacity for AMR diagnostics at the surveillance laboratories. The capacity of these labortories needs to be enhanced and faciliated  to identify, isolate and perform Antibiotic Sensitivity Test (AST) on WHO identified GLASS (Global AMR surviellance system) pathogens such as Campylobacter spp, Enterococci spp, Salmonella spp and E. coli.   Inorder to produce a valid test results, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are required  for these bacteria.

Hence, a “workshop on development of SOPs” was conducted at Phuentsholing from 14-19th January 2020. 12 participants representing the Technical Working Group (TWG) for Animal Health, representating from the Department of Livestock (Animal Health Division, National Centre for Animal Health, National Veterinary Hospital, Regional Livestock Development centres),  Department of Public Health (Royal Centre for Disease Control) and Bhutan Agriculture & Food Regulatory Authority ( Quality Cotrol  & Regulatory Division, National Food Testing Laboratory) attended the workshop. The main objectives of the workshop is to develop SOPs for WHO identified GLASS pathogens and waste management guidelines.

The workshop is funded by Fleming Fund Project.

Submitted by: Dr. N.K. Thapa

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