The government will ring-fence £1.34m to support UK pharmacists and nurses working to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Under the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) scheme, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care’s Fleming Fund, up to 12 volunteer teams of NHS pharmacists and nurses will undertake two or three annual placements of between three and four weeks at a hospital site in their assigned country.
In collaboration with their local counterparts, the NHS teams will work to identify and monitor AMR, reduce transmission of infection, and ensure that antibiotics are used effectively.
The scheme will be jointly delivered by the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) and the Tropical Health Education Trust (THET). News of the funding was announced by Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, during the 2018 THET conference held in London on 27 and 28 September 2018.
“Collaboration of this kind with our friends and neighbours internationally is hugely important if we are to tackle this challenge together,” Davies said. “This scheme will play a crucial role in strengthening antimicrobial stewardship efforts in participating hospitals by allowing specialists to share experience and expertise.”
Victoria Rutter, chief executive of the CPA, said that the association was “delighted” to be partnering with THET on the joint initiative.
“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.”
The Fleming Fund is part of a wider commitment by the UK government to spend up to £265m supporting AMR surveillance in low and middle-income countries by 2021.