The Value of Data

Why do we need data?

We believe in evidence-based decision making, which is why we invest heavily in supporting systems that generate data.

In public health terms, that means we invest in surveillance systems, or according to the World Health Organization, systems that “collect, analyse and interpret health-related data essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice”.

We support countries around the world to establish their own AMR surveillance systems which provide national governments an accurate picture of the AMR problem which can be shared for action locally, nationally, regionally and globally. According to the UK Review on AMR, surveillance is important for the following reasons:

At the local level, information would help improve patient health. At the national level, surveillance data would help inform health policies and responses to health emergencies. Finally, at the global level, it would provide early warnings of emerging threats and help identify long-term trends.

The UK AMR Review, 2016

What data is collected?

  1. Resistance to antimicrobial medicines: Health officials need to understand which infections are resistant to which antimicrobial medicines in order to enable clinicians to use effective medication to treat patients. They also need to understand the “amount” or total cases of resistance within their country.
  2. Trends in the use or consumption of antimicrobial medicines: High use of antimicrobial medicines in humans and animals leads to increased drug resistance. Information about the number of drugs used in farming, animal husbandry and clinical treatment is needed to decrease drug use and monitor drug resistance.
  3. The quality of antimicrobial medicines: Many antimicrobial medicines in Africa and Asia are sub-standard or falsified, meaning they are ineffective as treatment and can contribute to growing drug resistance. Health authorities need information about where falsified or low-quality drugs are being used, so they can be removed from circulation.
  4. The burden of disease associated with AMR: Health authorities must understand how AMR affects mortality and morbidity within a local, national and global context to make informed decisions about health investment and policy.

Where does the data go?

The Fleming Fund supports countries to collect, share and use data. This is national data and neither DHSC, the Management Agent, nor grantees own or share the data that is gathered in the programme.

Data is collected within national health systems, by central reference laboratories and other sentinel surveillance sites, including in national hospitals, and is owned by health and food and agriculture ministries. These national government systems are responsible for reporting data internationally to global data repositories managed by the World Health Organization and the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Data shared with these organisations helps decision makers worldwide to monitor global trends and emerging threats.

How is data shared internationally?

Human Health Data: Human health data is reported to the Global AMR Surveillance System (GLASS). GLASS was launched by the World Health Organization as part of the implementation of the Global Action Plan on AMR. The data generated helps inform national, regional and global decision-making, strategies and advocacy.

The WHO GLASS Early Implementation Report provides details on the current status of countries AMR surveillance systems.

WHO also collects and analyses data on antibiotic consumption in their annual WHO Report on Surveillance of Antibiotic Consumption. New modules are being added to GLASS, for example to include these data on antimicrobial consumption.

Animal Health Data: is reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health which produces an annual report on antimicrobial use in animals.