Agricultural Integrated Survey Programme - AGRISurvey

How can we improve data gathering on antimicrobial usage at national level? Lessons from Uganda

News - 10.11.2020

On October 15 2020, the FAO Animal Production and Health Division, the Statistics Division and the FAO Livestock Technical Network organized a joint webinar on “How can we improve data gathering on antimicrobial usage at national level? Lessons from Uganda”.

The lack of good quality data affects the design and implementation of policies and investments on antimicrobial resistance. To tackle this issue, FAO has joined forces with the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) to develop and implement an approach that improve the availability of data on antimicrobial use (AMU) in livestock farming.

FAO and UBOS have developed and implemented a method to include AMU questions on antibiotics use in the Uganda Annual Agricultural Survey, which is a nationally representative farm survey regularly undertaken by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

Three FAO offices collaborated on this work. Through the AGRISurvey Programme, the FAO Statistics Division funded the field operations of the Uganda Annual Agricultural Survey (AAS) and contributed to the inclusion of the AMU related questions into the survey questionnaires. Through the Africa Sustainable Livestock 2050 project, the FAO Animal Production and Health Division developed the questions with inputs from the Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group. Through the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD), the FAO Uganda Representation contributed to test and adapt the questions to the national context and is liaising with national counterparts to ensure that the generated evidence will inform the policymaking, implementation and monitoring.

Results show that, in Uganda, antibiotics use is considerable among livestock keeping households (35 percent), who use antibiotics not only for curative treatment (approximately 58 percent) but also for disease prevention (approximately 44 percent) and growth promotion (approximately 5 percent). There is a strong positive correlation between herd size and antibiotics use; cattle keepers are significantly more likely to use antibiotics than small ruminant and poultry keepers; use of antibiotics in animal farming does not significantly differ between male and female headed households. Marginal changes in the existing statistical system provide an effective, low-cost and sustainable way to gather periodically information on AMU.

The webinar analyzed the technical aspects for improving the gathering of data on antimicrobial use and proposed policy solutions, promoting a strong cooperation between the Ministry in charge of livestock and the National Statistics Office to regularly produce and analyze good quality data on antibiotics use in animal farming, as well as on any other livestock-related matters. This approach, which calls for closer collaboration between data users and data suppliers, could be scaled up and could be applied to more countries across Africa and beyond.

Mr Antonio Querido, FAO Uganda Representative, said: “The inclusion of AMU questions in the Uganda Annual Agricultural Survey not only does it make, for the first time, AMU data in livestock farming available to Uganda decision makers, but it is also an exemplary model demonstrating that, when effectively combining its multiple expertise at HQs and country level, FAO provides effective support to its member countries.

The webinar was attended by 132 participants from research institutions, ministries, universities, development agencies, national and international NGOs. 

Introductory remarks: José Rosero Moncayo, Director, FAO Statistics Division
Speakers: Chiara Brunelli, FAO Statistics Division and Orsolya Mikecz, FAO Animal Production and Health Division
Moderator: Sam Okuthe, Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) Country Team Leader, FAO Office Uganda
Closing remarks: Junxia Song, Senior Animal Health Officer, FAO


Watch the webinar's recording Data on antimicrobial use in livestock: Lessons from Uganda