We are very excited to announce the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Fleming Fund will support 12 selected health partnerships’ antimicrobial stewardship initiatives to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia.
The funding is being provided by the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Fleming Fund (www.flemingfund.org) as part of a £265 million commitment to support efforts to tackle AMR in low and middle income countries. The fund aims to build capacity in AMR surveillance locally, nationally and globally and to implement systems for evidence-based antimicrobial use. Within this, the partnerships will particularly focus on promoting the rational use of antimicrobials, looking at how they can build capacity for informed antimicrobial prescribing using appropriate protocols, antimicrobial stewardship and surveillance of use – including through participation in the Global Point Prevalence Survey (Global PPS).
Those selected will establish or build on partnerships between multidisciplinary NHS teams in the UK and their counterparts in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia to support antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) activities.
Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Keith Ridge has expressed his support for the scheme and welcomed the news.
“The quality of all the proposals received was extremely high and the selected NHS teams will make a great impact working in partnership with teams on stewardship practices across Africa. The UK has a lot to share in antimicrobial stewardship and it’s encouraging to see such an interest in sharing learning between the NHS and the partner countries.”
Partnership training will commence over the coming month before teams are deployed to initiate joint working. Commonwealth Pharmacists’ Association (CPA), together with Tropical Health Education Trust (THET) will support awardees throughout the project period and provide tools to support technical implementation and assist in project design and evaluation.
The health partnership model offers an exciting new approach to improve how antimicrobials are used in low resource settings, which is known to be a key driver of AMR. The close joint working between multidisciplinary NHS and overseas staff will allow initiatives to be developed that overcome barriers to appropriate antimicrobial use and understand the local context. Behavioural experts from The Change Exchange will also provide support for several partnerships by applying behaviour science principles to maximise the potential in their approach. The projects will align with stewardship and antimicrobial use surveillance in National Action Plans (NAPs) and partnerships are encouraged to work closely with national pharmacy associations to gain their in-country expertise and support for sustainable impact beyond the project period.
Additionally, partnerships will support building of a diverse range new skills for pharmacists in NHS including global health expertise, frugal innovation from working low resource settings, and project management.
The calibre of applicants for the scheme was exceptionally high and it is extremely exciting to see 12 outstanding partnerships selected. These include a mix of highly skilled new and established partnerships who demonstrated much motivation to understand and tackle the drivers of AMR within a global context. The scheme in anticipated to generate a large amount of bidirectional knowledge transfer – enhancing AMS and a diverse range of other skills in partners overseas and the NHS.
CwPAMS has sparked shared excitement within CPA and with UK’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dame Sally Davies who was speaking at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Winter Summit last Friday and recalled the impact her time volunteering with THET had on her practice in the UK and supporting health systems in LMICs.
From left to right Samrina Bhatti – selected CwPAMS volunteer, Philip Howard – BSAC President, Dame Sally Davies – Chief Medical Officer and CPA team members Chloe Tuck, Sarah Cavanagh, and Diane Ashiru-Oredope.
Sarah Cavanagh, CPA’s international Partnership Lead and Ipswich Hospital pharmacist commented:
‘As a previous volunteer, I am thrilled to see, for the first time, so many partnerships led by NHS pharmacists receiving funding to share skills and build capacity overseas. Their enthusiasm to tackle AMR in resource poor settings, as well as at home is so encouraging and a timely reminder of how we all strive to improve health. Supporting and sharing our skills with colleagues overseas is a proven cost-effective approach, which also benefits the NHS. My experiences in Mozambique provided a unique learning opportunity, which benefited me personally and professionally. I’m a more confident, effective communicator and more self-aware and outward-looking as a pharmacist. It is an honour to be able to open such fantastic opportunities to many other enthusiastic pharmacists that I have no doubt will inject new skills, enthusiasm and leadership into the NHS.’
Partnerships awarded grants
- Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust – The Assemblies of God Hospital, Saboba
- UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH) – Ghana Public Health Association (GPHA)
- North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, London (NMUH) – Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH)
- University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), Ho
- Healthcare Improvement Scotland – Ghana Police Hospital and Keta Municipal Hospital
- Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC)
- Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Makerere University and Mulago National Referral and Teaching Hospital
- University of Salford – Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda
- The University of Manchester – Gulu Regional Referral Hospital
- Nottingham Trent University – Makerere University School of Public Health
- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) – Makerere University College of Health Sciences and Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration (IDRC)
- University of Sussex; Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) – University Teaching Hospital (UTH), Lusaka