A year on from the inception of the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme (CwPAMS), the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association, a leading partner on the CwPAMS programme, launches a new app for healthcare professionals to inform appropriate antimicrobial use and support stewardship initiatives.
Increasing and widespread antimicrobial resistance is a global concern, predicted to kill an alarming 10 million per year by 2050 without action to curb the trend (O’Neil, 2016). A key aspect to help tackle this, as highlighted in the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) global action plan on AMR, is antimicrobial stewardship, which ensures appropriate and regulated antimicrobial use. WHO recommend antibiotics are divided into three categories – Access, Watch, and Reserve (AWaRe), based on their potential to cause resistant superbugs.
On the 70th anniversary of the founding of the National Health Service (NHS) the Department of Health and Social Care announced £1.3million of UK aid to support the establishment of partnerships between NHS staff and their clinical counterparts in Commonwealth nations to enhance antimicrobial stewardship measures with the aim of reducing AMR.
Commonwealth Health Partnerships are focusing on enhancing hospital-level surveillance of antimicrobial use, improving measures to reduce infection and taking steps to use antibiotics more effectively through stewardship – all of which help to stop the emergence of AMR. The programme has already demonstrated enhanced surveillance through Global Point Prevalence Survey (PPS) uptake.
To inform the development of the CwPAMS programme a focused evidence review was undertaken. This highlighted a gap in clinical tools, based on established guidance to inform clinical decision making on antimicrobial use. Therefore, the CwPAMS app has been developed to provide easy access to information that is vital to use antimicrobials appropriately. It includes national treatment guidelines for Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, as well as that from WHO AWaRE.
The app features:
- National standard treatment guidelines;
- WHO essential medicines lists on antimicrobials;
- AMS training resources;
- Infection prevention and control resources; and
- Point Prevalence Survey (PPS) tools for antimicrobial use and stewardship surveillance.
The app is particularly exciting as it is the first of its kind to house these vital guidelines in one place. It has already received positive feedback from clinical staff and national-level leads.
The CwPAMS will be a helpful tool to facilitate this. To learn more about the app, watch our video on Youtube. To start using it, please visit: here or download the app Microguide from your app store.
Dr Diane Ashiru-Oredope, Global AMR Lead, CPA commented:
“We are delighted to be launching the infection guideline app as part of our activities for World Antibiotic Awareness Week. This follows a period of testing and feedback. Our scoping review for the programme along with ongoing work and visits as part of the CwPAMS programme highlighted clearly that access to guidelines is a challenge.
“We hope that the app along with ongoing antimicrobial stewardship interventions will support colleagues in Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. We value feedback and encourage colleagues to share their feedback with us via this survey “
In-country colleagues said the following:
“The app is very helpful to use during ward rounds to check antibiotics and their doses. It is much easier to do this with the app than carrying the Standard Treatment Guidelines book around”
Darius Obeng Essah, Pharmacist, Keta Municipal Hospital, Ghana
“I have gone through the app. It is really nice and user-friendly.”
Dr Furaha Lyamuya, Infectious Disease Consultant, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Tanzania
“Access to guidelines has been highlighted as a barrier to using Ugandan antibiotic treatment guidelines. The MicroGuide app has been welcomed in Gulu”
Manchester-Gulu Team (Uganda)