By Diane Ashiru-Oredope, Global AMR lead, Commonwealth Pharmacists Association
The independent Review on Antimicrobial Resistance estimated that at least 700,000 deaths each year globally are attributable to drug resistance infections such as bacterial infections, malaria and HIV/AIDS. Unless action is taken, it is thought the burden of deaths from AMR could balloon to 10 million lives each year by 2050 and cost the global economy up to $100 trillion US Dollars.
To help address this, the Department of Health, through the Fleming Fund, has just launched the new Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS) scheme. This pioneering pharmacy-led initiative will send up to 12 volunteer teams of NHS pharmacists and specialist nurses to Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia to work with local health workers to jointly tackle AMR. The scheme is now open for applications.
CwPAMS will help improve the detection and monitoring of resistant infections at the hospital level, take measures to reduce infection and put in place steps to use antibiotics effectively – all of which will help to keep antibiotics working better for longer whilst helping to stop the emergence of superbugs. The scheme is being led by The Tropical Health Education Trust and the Commonwealth Pharmacists’ Association (CPA) and is looking for multi-disciplinary approaches that involve pharmacy.
How will CwPAMS build capacity in AMS?
The CwPAMS programme will apply skills and knowledge from UK pharmacists to support capacity building for AMS in partner institutions. One important aspect of this is improving monitoring of antimicrobial consumption.
Robust monitoring mechanisms are required to help make informed decisions on where to focus efforts to reduce unnecessary use of antimicrobials, and assess the impact initiatives are having. Whilst monitoring both antimicrobial consumption is included in all national action plans on AMR, the capacity to implement this in most low and middle income countries is low. Enhancing monitoring capacity for AMS can also support building wider systems capacity and enable more effective stock control.
How will the CwPAMS scheme benefit pharmacists in the NHS?
There are important benefits for NHS pharmacists not to overlook when considering whether to apply, including:
- opportunities to develop frugal yet innovative solutions to share with the UK 11/9/2018
- improved leadership capacity
- increased job satisfaction
- improved understanding of digital technology in health
- greater understanding and experience of working with limited resources and appreciation of the cost of resources within the NHS
- opportunities for professional development.
How can you get involved and what support is available?
CPA are encouraging pharmacists to apply for this new and exciting opportunity. We recognise applying for grants can seem daunting to those not well immersed in doing so; the RPS are able to offer a range of valuable support in preparing applications. Contact the RPS Research Support Service or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CPA & THET will also be providing training for those who are awarded grants. To find out more visit the CPA website which includes access to the grant call documents. The grant call closes on 4 January. You can also email the CPA team directly via email@example.com.