Antimicrobial Resistance

Strengthening national capacities for safer livestock production


District officials trained to detect bacterial contaminants and antimicrobial resistance in animal health laboratories


16 February 2024, Mukono –The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), through its Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries (MAAIF) have trained 18 veterinary laboratory analysts and district disease surveillance focal points on detecting bacterial contaminants and performing antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The training focused on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and was conducted at the Mukono District Veterinary Laboratory.

With the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Health Security Project, FAO is helping to implement Uganda's National Action Plan for AMR through various technical action packages, such as Antimicrobial Resistance, Zoonotic Diseases, Biosecurity and Biosafety, National Laboratory Systems, Surveillance and Workforce Development.


Strengthening Veterinary Laboratory Skills and Surveillance Capacity

Targeting selected regional and district veterinary laboratories in the Elgon, Lake Victoria, and Savannah epizones, the training sought to strengthen the skills of laboratory technicians and district surveillance focal persons. During the training session, Hon. Reverend Bakaluba Mukasa, the Local Government Chairperson (LCV) of Mukono district, emphasized the importance of having professionals in the agriculture sector and the need to eliminate the trial and error approach in managing animal diseases. He highlighted the necessity for improving the diagnostic laboratory capacity in the animal sector to prevent AMR spillovers to human as well as under the Government’s Parish Development Model (PDM) program. The program aims to eradicate poverty in farming communities.

Dr. Fred Mukulu, the District Production and Marketing Officer (DPMO) and Chairperson for DPMOs in Uganda, emphasized that “these laboratories play a crucial role in preventing veterinarians from relying on guesswork”. He also encouraged districts without functional veterinary laboratories to follow Mukono district's lead, starting modestly and seeking support from the FAO and the National Animal Disease Diagnostic and Epidemiology Centre (NADDEC). “There is a need to connect animal and environmental health workers, farmers, and frontline laboratories to combat AMR, a significant public health challenge,” said Dr. Willington Bessong Ojong, FAO’s ECTAD Country Team Leader. “‘We are pleased to collaborate with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) to support this training”, Bessong added.


FAO Training Advances Veterinary Skills for AMR Surveillance in Uganda

It was noted a deficiency among several participants in hands-on experience regarding antimicrobial susceptibility testing and bacterial contamination assessment. However, feedback unequivocally attested to the effectiveness of the FAO training sessions in bridging this gap. Participants reported gaining not only theoretical understanding but also practical skills, underscoring the training program's success in enhancing the proficiency of veterinary and paraveterinary professionals.

“The increased use of antimicrobials has left farmers confused and in need of laboratory services. The timing of the training is ideal, said Anette Namigadde Kisakya Maria, a Laboratory technologist from Masaka regional veterinary laboratory. “We are ready to serve with the skills we have acquired. We now need support for equipment and consumables to put these skills into practice and actively participate in AMR surveillance”.

This training represents a significant stride towards enhancing Uganda's capacity to combat AMR and ensure safer livestock production. The dedication of participants and the collaboration between FAO, USAID, MAAIF, and district authorities exemplify a collective commitment to safeguarding animal and human health in Uganda.


For more information:

Fore more information on FAO ECTAD:

For information about FAO and AMR please visit: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)



Yanira Santana

Emergency Reporting and Outreach Specialist

Bureau FAO ECTAD Africa

Email: [email protected]

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