About Objective 3


Objective 3 of the NZ Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan is to improve infection prevention and control measures across human health and animal care settings to prevent infection and transmission of micro-organisms.

Priority action areas

Priority action area 7

Develop and update national guidelines and standards for IPC to achieve a nationally consistent approach, and enhance accreditation and quality assurance programmes so that more practitioners follow best-practice IPC measures across human health, animal health and agriculture.

Ongoing activities

  • Keep national guidelines for resistant pathogens in humans up to date; for example, guidelines on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO).

Year 1 activities

  • Contribute to the review of the infection prevention and control component of the New Zealand Health and Disability Services Standards (Standards New Zealand 2008) and relevant animal health standards, focusing on whether they are current and in line with international best practice.
  • Develop national response plans for preventing and controlling multi-resistant gram negative micro-organisms in humans, such as carbapenemase producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE), linking to surveillance in Priority action areas 3 and 4, activity 7.
  • Review how IPC is implemented in human health care facilities, schools and other relevant community-based services, including workforce capacity, capability and training needs. 
  • Review and consider the measures that could be implemented to improve IPC practices across the animal health industry (see also Priority action area 10, activities 1–2). 

Years 2-5 activities

  • Plan for improvements in implementing IPC in identified areas of human health care facilities, schools and other relevant community-based services (in line with Priority action area 7, activity 4).
  • Evaluate the current human health sector accreditation and quality assurance process to identify opportunities to improve the delivery of effective IPC practices and management of antimicrobial resistant organisms.
  • Work with the accreditation sector to develop criteria for human health care facilities to carry out effective IPC practices, in line with the outcomes from Priority action area 7, activity 7.  

Priority action area 8

Promote a cohesive and sustainable ‘one team’ approach to IPC functions in all human health care facilities.

Ongoing activities

  • Maintain and strengthen links with national and international initiatives (for example, the World Health Organization Patient Safety Programme) that promote multidisciplinary responses to antimicrobial resistance and prevention of health care associated infections (in line with Priority action area 18, activity 1).

Year 1 activities

  • Engage senior leaders and clinical champions to advocate for and promote a sustainable ‘one team’ approach to IPC functions in all human health care facilities.

Priority action area 9

Encourage continued immunisation to prevent infections.

Ongoing activities

  • Continue to regularly review the national human health immunisation schedule.
  • Continue work to increase immunisation coverage equitably across the general population.
  • Consider how to increase use of appropriate immunisations in animals, and implement as possible.

Priority action area 10

Promote prevention and control of zoonotic infections.

Year 1 activities

  • Support the development of guidance for IPC standards in animal health and agriculture (in line with Priority action area 7, activity 5).
  • Consider strategies to increase IPC awareness among veterinarians and their clients (in line with Priority action area 7, activity 5).

Priority action area 11

Encourage alternative approaches to reduce infection and the need for antimicrobial use in animals.

Year 1 activities

  • Review international trends in antimicrobial use in animals to identify vulnerabilities and opportunities for reducing infection and managing antimicrobial resistance in New Zealand.

Years 2-5 activities

  • Consider implementing alternative approaches to reducing infection and the need for antimicrobial use in animals based on vulnerabilities and opportunities identified in Priority action area 11, activity 1.
  • Foster the development of new therapeutics to reduce the need for antimicrobial use in animal health.