Evidence on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in conflict settings in the region is sparse. According to the WHO, few areas have solid systems in place to track AMR while countries (mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, South and Southeast Asia) have large gaps in coverage. This problem is further compounded in conflict settings where data is compromised due to the inability of patients to access care due to the risk of violence. The WHO Global Action Plan on AMR which was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2015 called for “strengthening the knowledge and evidence base through surveillance and research”.
By acting as a research hub, CREEW will help identify the extent of the AMR problem, provide focused data collection efforts and create a platform for sharing global research on AMR particularly in conflict settings. The fellowship program will bring together experts and mentors in the field of AMR to join efforts with CREEW fellows in conducting rigorous research on AMR in conflict settings. CREEW will lead in bridging theory with practice by developing AMR comparative studies from different war zones and disseminating global guidelines to address this threat.
The 2021 cohort was cosponsored by Swisscross Foundation. Five fellows with different backgrounds and coming from Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, Syria and Yemen were part of this pilot cohort. Their mentored field research projects focused on the interplay between antimicrobial resistance and conflict. The projects have culminated in scholarly outputs, including research publications and conference presentations.
The residency consists of four taught courses in research skills and a thematic course on AMR. The courses are delivered over 3 weeks at the American University of Beirut. Courses are both didactic and practical, with emphasis on conducting research in conflict settings.
Each fellow is assigned a mentor whose area of expertise matches the fellow’s research interests. Following the residential courses, the CREEW fellows will conduct field research on the thematic topic, while maintaining frequent communication with their mentors through the CREEW online portal.
Fellows are required to produce a scholarly output, which can be in the form of a journal submission, a report, or a policy brief within 3 months following completion of field research. The completion of the fellowship is conditional upon the fellow’s completion of a publication/research output.
The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) is responsible for selecting the thematic topic every year, advising on the selection of subject matter experts and mentors, and consulting regarding the course materials and research process. Furthermore, the SAC oversees the mentored field research and dissemination.
Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom
Global Health Institute (GHI), American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon
American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), Lebanon
International Committee of the Red Cross
University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
The Graduate Institute, Geneva