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ANCP – Kickstarting antimicrobial resistance responses in PNG (KICK AMR)

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has emerged as one of the greatest global health security threats of our time. Countries such as Papua New Guinea (PNG) may be disproportionately impacted by AMR due to resource, capacity, governance, and health system constraints. 

In response to this threat, PNG has developed a multisectoral National Actional Plan (NAP) on AMR (2017-2020).  The NAP officially launched in August 2019 as a collaborative effort by the National Department of Health, Department of Agriculture and Livestock and the Department of Environment and Conservation. 

This 4-year project was supported by the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). It focused on building the capacity of key hospital and laboratory staff and strengthening hospital-based systems to respond to the threat of AMR. The project aligned and contributed to the strategic objectives of the PNG National Action Plan for AMR (2017-2020) and centred around the three core AMR domains of microbiology, infection prevention and control, and antimicrobial stewardship.

This project aimed to build the capacity of individuals and improve hospital-based systems at PMGH and CPHL to address the threat of AMR in major health facilities. It aimed to:

Strengthen hospital microbiology systems for AMR by:

  • Improving functional systems for the routine surveillance and analysis of microbiological data in Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) and Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL)
  • Improving timely, effective communication of microbiological data from CPHL to clinicians at PMGH for consideration in patient management

Develop Antimicrobial stewardship in hospitals by:

  • Supporting functional antimicrobial stewardship systems at the facility level in Facilitating the implementation and utilisation of updated standardised antibiotic guidelines as a stewardship tool at PMGH

Improve hospital infection prevention and control systems by:

  • Supporting the establishment of effective systems for infection prevention and control at the facility level in PMGH
  • As well as strengthen the capacity of key health staff at PMGH/CPHL to develop systems and guidelines related to three core AMR domains (microbiology, IPC, AMS) and implement and manage effective, functional AMR systems.


The first year of the project piloted a model for the development of hospital-based governance of Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS), Infection Prevention Control and microbiological services that could be scaled up throughout PNG. Working with Kick AMR Pacific alumni, we conducted conduct a series of ‘hands-on’ workshops with key pharmacy, clinical and laboratory staff at PMGH and CPHL in Port Moresby that examined local data and systems to improve structures and processes for the three key core AMR domains (microbiology, IPC, AMS) within existing resources (or realistic requests for additional resources).

In subsequent years, the model was rolled out to the provinces, with workshops held in Mount Hagen, Lae and Goroka. These workshops were supported by Burnet technical experts and delivered in partnership with alumni from the PMGH workshop.

Strengthening the capacity of key hospital and laboratory staff to prevent and respond to the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) can have significant benefits for the community in several ways:

  • Improved patient outcomes: When hospital staff are trained in appropriate antimicrobial use and stewardship, they can reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics, which can lead to fewer drug-resistant infections and better outcomes for patients. Similarly, laboratory staff can play a critical role in identifying drug-resistant infections quickly, allowing doctors to prescribe appropriate antibiotics and reducing the risk of treatment failure.
  • Reduced healthcare costs: By reducing the use of unnecessary antibiotics, hospitals can save on drug costs and prevent the need for more expensive second-line treatments. This can benefit both patients and healthcare systems, which can use the saved resources to fund other important health initiatives.
    Improved public health: The spread of drug-resistant infections is a significant public health threat, and strengthening the capacity of hospital and laboratory staff to prevent and respond to AMR can help to mitigate this risk. By reducing the prevalence of drug-resistant infections, healthcare facilities can also reduce the risk of community transmission, which can benefit the broader public.
  • Enhanced global health security: Drug-resistant infections are a global threat, and efforts to strengthen the capacity of hospital and laboratory staff to prevent and respond to AMR can contribute to global health security. By reducing the risk of drug-resistant infections, healthcare facilities can help to prevent the emergence and spread of new drug-resistant strains, which can have significant global implications.
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Doctor Amrita Ronnachit

Contact Doctor Amrita Ronnachit for more information about this project.


Stephanie Levy

Contact Stephanie Levy for more information about this project.




Partners +

  • Alfred Health
  • DFAT