Antibiotic use – why we’re building links with Africa 

04/07/2019 00:00 
UCLH pharmacists, doctors and specialist nurses are forging links with their counterparts in Africa as part of the global drive to reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance.

L-r front: Sarah Logan infectious diseases consultant, Preet Panesar lead antimicrobial pharmacist, Eneyi Kpokiri UCL research pharmacist. L-r back: Misha Ladva UCL pharmacist, Clare Chandler director antimicrobial resistance centre at LSHTM, Ben Killingley acute medicine and infectious diseases consultant and Mike Brown divisional clinical director, Infection Division.

Preet Panesar and Misha Ladva are amongst sixteen pharmacists who have been awarded global health fellowships by the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England.

As part of a wider programme, UCLH is embarking on two new partnerships with hospitals in Uganda and Ghana to raise awareness and develop tools to improve the way antibiotics are used. They are sponsored by The Fleming Fund .

The UK teams include: UCLH staff, academics from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UCL School of Pharmacy and the Infectious Disease Research Collaboration. They will draw on the expertise of the expertise of the UCLH Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee.

UCLH team members include acute medicine and infectious diseases consultant Ben Killingley, Preet Panesar, lead antimicrobial pharmacist, Yogini Jani, consultant pharmacist, and Misha Ladva, pharmacist (UCL, trials advisor).

They said: “We will be learning from each other. We will be helping them on their journey by sharing our experiences of antibiotic stewardship at UCLH, the guidelines and protocols developed over many years. The partnership will help us to better understand the challenges of antimicrobial stewardship in countries with limited resources and antibiotic shortages, an emergent problem in the UK. It’s an opportunity to share ideas about how we can all use antibiotics more efficiently and safely.”

Ben is one of the UCLH team who now regularly talks online to health professionals supporting stewardship at the 500-bedded hospital in Jinja, Uganda. The Uganda partnership builds on previous research and improvement initiatives involving Dr Mike Brown and other UCLH staff and aims to share skills, techniques and insights across the two clinical settings.

This summer – team members from both projects will visit the respective partner countries - on a voluntary basis and in their own time. Ben and his colleague senior clinical pharmacist Preet Panesar will make the 4,000 mile journey to Uganda. Pharmacists Yogini Jani, Misha Ladva and Eneyi Kpokiri will travel to Ghana. 

The Ghana partnership with Ho Teaching Hospital and the University of Health and Allied Sciences aims to help hospital pharmacists develop skills so they can implement AMS programmes.

The approach mirrors the UCLH experience of CMORE, a joint initiative that brings together clinical experts from UCLH and academics from UCL School of Pharmacy for medicines optimisation and health improvement initiatives.

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