This week an announcement was made about a new Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship project. The project will be led by the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) in partnership with the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) and will see new health partnerships created in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Volunteer NHS pharmacists, specialists and other healthcare workers will share expertise with participating Commonwealth nations to support their steps to tackle the threat of AMR.
The programme will form 12 new partnerships across the four participating countries. The partnerships will all aim to improve antimicrobial stewardship, infection prevention control and build in-country capacity and expertise for antimicrobial pharmacy. From this experience, NHS volunteers will bring skills and knowledge back to NHS trusts.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, said:
“I am delighted that UK Aid – provided through the Government’s Fleming Fund – will enable these vital partnerships between our fantastic NHS staff and their counterparts overseas to take place. AMR poses a risk to us all, wherever we call home – a collaboration of this kind with our friends and neighbours internationally is hugely important if we are to tackle this challenge together. This scheme will play a crucial role in strengthening antimicrobial stewardship efforts in participating hospitals by allowing specialists to share experience and expertise.”
Ben Simms, Chief Executive Officer of THET, said:
“Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat to us all and yet until recently it has remained a neglected area of global health. At THET we believe that working in partnerships is the best way to strengthen health systems both at home and overseas. Through volunteer placements our NHS staff will pass on their expertise to their counterparts in the Commonwealth whilst learning from them and the low-resource settings they spend time within. We are proud to be a part of this programme and look forward to sharing its successes.”
Vicky Rutter, Executive Director of CPA, said:
“The CPA are delighted to be partnering with THET for this joint initiative, which will see pharmacists taking on key leadership roles in developing effective systems of antimicrobial stewardship in 4 African Commonwealth nations. We are excited at the prospect of working with NHS antimicrobial stewardship teams, who are amongst the best in the world; to partner with colleagues in Africa on a journey of shared learning, united under the common goal of tackling the global health threat that AMR poses to us all.”
More information on the project and the call for proposals will be released shortly.