NHS pharmacists to volunteer to support local health workers in Commonwealth African countries to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR).Find out more
Sharing the Learning - Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship
On 24th and 25th June 2021, the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) and the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) hosted a two-day sharing and learning event which brought together over 100 delegates from across the global health community to celebrate and showcase the work of the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS) grant holders and the programmatic level outputs.
Dedicated discussion forums provided an opportunity to share ideas and strategies for maintaining progress, overcoming challenges and ensuring sustainability. Eminent speakers included Dame Sally Davies, UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance, Dr Thomas Joseph, Acting Head, Antimicrobial Stewardship and Awareness, AMR Global Coordination Department, WHO, Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, NHS England, and Dr Yewande Alimi, AMR and One Health Program Coordinator, Africa CDC.
Your commitment to collaboration and working together is inspiring…it is the work that you do that will contribute to turning the tide in this antimicrobial resistance pandemic.
Dame Sally Davies, UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance, CwPAMS Final Sharing and Learning Event, June 2021
June 2021 marked the conclusion of the first phase of the CwPAMS programme. Running from 2018 to 2021, CwPAMS was managed by THET and the CPA, and funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Fleming Fund. By leveraging the expertise of UK health institutions and technical experts, this pioneering programme strengthened the capacity of the health workforce to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Commonwealth countries.
CwPAMS was delivered through Health Partnerships between UK health institutions and their counterparts in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Health workers on both sides volunteered their time to co-develop strategies and share skills and knowledge to address priority health system issues relating to antimicrobial stewardship (AMS). This provided mutual benefits across the health workforce in institutions overseas and for the UK teams, who developed project-related competencies, leadership skills, and knowledge of how to find innovative solutions in resource-limited settings.
The achievements shared were abundant and include:
- 3,300 healthcare workers trained over 10,980 training days on AMS principles, antimicrobial prescribing, consumption surveillance and IPC
- 1,502 out of 1,561 (96%) health workers tested demonstrated improved knowledge after training
- 23 guidelines and protocols rolled out in overseas institutions
- 289 volunteers from LMICs and the UK participated (4,151 volunteer days)
We are proud that many of the AMR initiatives are really continent driven, because that is the dream. We want to see our continent take charge in telling its own story, in driving its own interventions.
Dr Yewande Alimi, Africa CDC
Pharmacists played a leading role in delivering the programme, supporting better use of medicines, including antimicrobials. As the technical experts on this programme, the CPA leveraged their network of pharmacists around the Commonwealth to provide input and create tools to support the health workforce and raise awareness of AMS, including:
- Antimicrobial prescribing app, providing access for health workers to national antimicrobial guidelines.
- AMS Board Game, covering an introduction to antimicrobial resistance & stewardship; appropriate use of antimicrobial agents; infection prevention and control; and stewardship and surveillance. This will be donated to overseas institutions.
- AMS educational videos for use in low-resource settings and in the local language.
The programme has exceeded all expectations…and is the kernel for placing pharmacists in central positions in global health.
Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, NHS England
Through the Fleming Fund, an extension to the CwPAMS programme has been announced that will see the work expanded to eight countries across Africa: Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Malawi, and Kenya. Grants allocated under the extension will place a central focus on AMS and on developing pharmacy expertise and capacity.
We congratulate all programme partners on their commitment to tackling antimicrobial resistance and look forward to this new chapter of working in partnership to keep antibiotics working.
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