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Antimicrobial Resistance 2020

International collaboration tackling the next global health crisis

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Dr Diane Ashiru-Oredope

Global AMR Lead, Commonwealth Pharmacists Association

Victoria Rutter

Executive Director, Commonwealth Pharmacists Association

A pharmacy-led global health partnerships approach can be effective for supporting antimicrobial stewardship and tackling antimicrobial resistance.


Multisectoral (One-Health) and multi-country approach essential

The same or similar antimicrobial medicines may be used to treat infectious diseases in humans and animals. Also, resistant bacteria arising in humans, animals or the environment may spread from one to the other, and across geographical boarders. Addressing the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) therefore requires a global holistic and multisectoral approach, often referred to as ‘One Health’.

Global Health Partnerships to support Antimicrobial Stewardship

Over two years, a Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) health partnerships and pharmacy-led approach has been employed to connect 158 multidisciplinary health workers and academics in the UK with 78 colleagues in Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. They have collaboratively developed antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) and infection prevention and control interventions as well as build training capacity to tackle AMR.

The Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS) Programme is funded by UK Aid’s Fleming Fund1 and managed by Commonwealth Pharmacists Association and THET. Through targeted interventions, it aimed to demonstrate an increase in rational use of antibiotics, and subsequent reduction in morbidity and mortality associated with AMR.

Addressing the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) therefore requires a global holistic and multisectoral approach, often referred to as ‘One Health’.

UK staff volunteered time and expertise to co-develop projects, resulting in 1500 healthcare workers trained in AMS across Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia; 253 of whom were pharmacists. In addition, the first cohort of Global Health Pharmacy Fellows completed a successful leadership year as part of the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer’s Global Health Fellowship.

Surveillance of antimicrobial prescribing data also improved through increased data collection. Prior to CwPAMS, only one hospital from the programme countries had conducted data collection through the Global Point Prevalence Survey, this has since increased to at least ten.

During the COVID19 pandemic, CwPAMS has both prepared and continued to support partnership healthcare institutions in their infection prevention and control processes. Partnerships were able to pivot work to include initiatives such as training on production of alcohol-based hand sanitiser – a bidirectional learning experience for both overseas and UK practitioners.


1 The Fleming Fund is a £265 million UK aid investment to tackle antimicrobial resistance by supporting low- and middle-income countries to generate, use and share data on AMR. The programme is managed by the UK Department of Health and Social Care. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Social Care.

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