Some sixteen pharmacists who are part of teams tackling antimicrobial resistance in the developing world have been appointed ‘chief pharmaceutical officer global health fellows’, Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer for England has announced.
Under the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship scheme, 12 pharmacy-led multidisciplinary teams have partnered with healthcare institutions in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Zambia to promote rational use of antimicrobials and to develop surveillance systems for antimicrobial use.
The scheme is sponsored by Health Education England, working alongside the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association.
The chief pharmaceutical officer global health fellows will now undertake training to develop their leadership and project management skills, with particular reference to overseas work.
Ridge said the scheme was “an excellent professional opportunity” for specialist pharmacists in the UK, and would give pharmacists the chance to share their expertise in “challenging environments” as part of a “concerted campaign to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing”.
Frances Garraghan, lead antimicrobial pharmacist at Manchester University Foundation NHS Trust, is one of the new fellows. He is leading a partnership between the University of Manchester and Gulu Regional Referral Hospital in Northern Uganda, and has just returned from his first visit to Gulu.
“We have already been able to share our knowledge and experience, and it is so rewarding to know that the team in Gulu is as passionate about improving the use of antimicrobials as we are,” he said.
Fellow Joyce Mahungu, lead pharmacist in infectious diseases at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, is leading a partnership between North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust and Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana. Mahungu spoke of the benefits of the scheme to the UK.
“I am extremely passionate about the NHS and want the NHS to benefit in the application of skills and knowledge learnt — as well as from the network of people I will meet through the scheme,” she said.