Ambassador Pamela L. Spratlen’s Remarks

Ambassador Pamela L. Spratlen’s Remarks

Official Launch of the National Center on Antimicrobial Resistance and the National AMR Reference Laboratory

As Delivered


Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Institute of Epidemiology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Tashkent


Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen!

Доброе утро, уважаемые Дамы и Господа!

Ассалому алайкум муҳтарам хонимлар ва жаноблар!

Dear guests, I am here to speak on behalf of the United States Government and the U. S. Embassy and I am honored to be here to launch the National Reference Laboratory on Antimicrobial Resistance which is supported jointly by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Uzbekistan’s Research Institute of Epidemiology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

I would also like to thank Dr. Saidaliev for his remarks and for his presence today.  We just opened up another workshop earlier this morning, which is an indicator of the very great cooperation between the United States and Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Health.  Dr. Saidaliev has told us what a grave challenge that we are facing and trying to address.  As he mentioned, we face the possibility of losing the advances that we have made over many years since penicillin was discovered in 1928.  This is of course due to the emergence of drug resistant bacteria.  Not having antibiotics that kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria means that we can no longer take for granted the quick and reliable treatment of rare and common bacterial infections, including bacterial pneumonias, foodborne illnesses, and healthcare-associated infections.  A simple operation could be transformed into a life-threatening event and moreover, antibiotic-resistance also threatens animal health, agriculture, and the economy.  That is why we are extremely pleased to recognize the strong efforts and commitment of the Government of Uzbekistan in identifying antimicrobial resistance as one of the country’s leading public health concerns and its pledge to combat the challenges related to the use of antibiotics in close coordination with the World Health Organization and the United States.

This is a very special day, as we heard, and for the past two years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have supported national efforts in building the capacity of the Ministry of Health by developing strategies for identifying bacterial sensitivity to antibiotics and the rational use of antimicrobials within healthcare facilities and community.

The recently established Cooperative Agreement between CDC and the leading Ministry of Health institution in combating infectious diseases, the Research Institute of Epidemiology, Microbiology and Infectious Disease, will enable both partners to receive, for the first time ever, empirical data on the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in Uzbekistan, and make substantial progress in advancing antimicrobial efforts in the country.  Such efforts will improve the lives of Uzbek people and other people in the region and reduce the incidence of these serious drug-resistant threats.

Jointly combating antimicrobial resistance gives us the opportunity to learn from one another and to share experiences to strengthen efforts in a united fight.

I would just like to note the fact that it is not just a question of the cooperation between the United States and the various elements of the Uzbek health and others here in Uzbekistan but we also have international representation today coming from the World Health Organization and from the Louis Pasteur in Saint Petersburg so this is truly international.  Of course, I would like to thank all of the people with such experience in this department.  Especially I would like to thank George Schmid with whom I worked as Deputy Chief of Mission in Astana, Kazakhstan, and he was working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Let me close by just whole-heartedly thanking all of you for joining this effort and say that we value your continued dedication, partnership and commitment to detect, stop, and prevent the emergence and spread of drug resistant bacteria.  I wish you great success in this very important endeavor.  Thank you very much.