Mobile Infection Management | App launched to tackle rise of AMR
- CwPAMS Microguide app is now ready for use.
- The app is designed to be an easy way to access Infection management information to support appropriate antimicrobial use and antimicrobial stewardship.
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.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) happens when microorganisms survive exposure to a medicine that would normally kill them such as antibiotics, antimalarials and antivirals. Overuse of such medicines, can render them ineffective. 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 of this, as highlighted in the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) global action plan on AMR, is antimicrobial stewardship to ensure appropriate and regulated antimicrobial use. WHO recommend antibiotics in 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 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.
AMR is a global issue and through better awareness and informed antimicrobial use, all healthcare professionals and non-clinical staff involved in the provision of patient treatment can play a role in tackling it. The CwPAMS will be a helpful tool to facilitate this. To learn more about the app, watch about it on Youtube. To start using it, please visit: https://viewer.microguide.global/CPA/CWPAMS or download the app Microguide from your app store.
Quote from Dr Diane Ashiru-Oredope, Global AMR Lead, CPA:
“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 https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WNZQ2V8.”
Quotes from in country colleagues:
“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
“Access to guidelines has been highlighted as a barrier to using the Ugandan antibiotic treatment guidelines. The MicroGuide app, has been welcomed in Gulu”
Manchester-Gulu Team (Uanda)
Notes to editors:
The Commonwealth Health Partnerships programme is delivered in collaboration with the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) and the Tropical Health Education Trust (THET), an international NGO with expertise in delivering global health partnerships.
Commonwealth Health Partnerships involves volunteer NHS pharmacists and specialist nurses traveling to participating Commonwealth nations to work in partnership with local health workers to share expertise and jointly tackle the growing challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
This programme is funded by UK aid which is Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding; government money which is spent for the benefit of those in low and middle income countries. ODA funding is separated from DHSC’s core budget and that of the NHS and is allocated to the Department separately by HM Treasury.
Participating teams from the NHS have taken 1-2 annual placements of 1-2 weeks at hospital sites in Commonwealth countries. Between visits teams will keep in touch through online mentoring arrangements.
CPA – Commonwealth Pharmacists’ Association are a charity who support pharmacists across the Commonwealth, through sharing knowledge and skills, to enhance the profession and improve medicines use and patient health and wellbeing.