NCDC, Pharma Association Partner For Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme

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The director-general, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa.
The director-general, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), in collaboration with the Commonwealth Pharmacist’s Association (CPA) and the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET), has officially launched the second phase of the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS) in Nigeria.

The grant, part of the £4.6 million fund from the UK government’s Fleming Fund, aims to support hospitals in low- and middle-income countries in implementing anti-microbial stewardship through partnerships with UK-based hospitals from June 2023 to July 2025.

During the launch in Abuja, the director-general of NCDC, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa expressed Nigeria’s gratitude to CPA and THET for including the country in this initiative. He emphasised that the partnership projects would leverage the expertise of UK health institutions to provide technical support and share experiences, ultimately strengthening the local capacity of healthcare workers in antimicrobial stewardship (AMS).

“Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a significant global concern,” stated Adetifa. “Health economists estimate that by 2050, AMR could result in $100 trillion lost in economic activity and up to 10 million deaths annually if current trends continue. Therefore, these grants will focus on driving best practices in AMS, building pharmacy capacity and expertise, strengthening surveillance, and reducing the emergence and spread of AMR in Nigeria and Africa”

Adetifa urged the five beneficiary hospitals – Babcock University Teaching Hospital (BUTH), University Teaching Hospital Enugu, the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) and University College Hospital Ibadan (UCH) – to maximise this opportunity to enhance general healthcare and patient outcomes through AMS. He assured them of NCDC’s continued support for sustainability.

The representative of the National Oversight Mechanisms for CwPAMS, Prof. Oladipo Aboderin congratulated the five grant holders and encouraged them to use the grant to establish a sustainable antimicrobial stewardship program in their respective facilities. He also emphasized the importance of aligning their activities with the national strategy for proper coordination.

The AMR programme manager, Dr. Abiodun Egwuenu shared Nigeria’s situation at the event, stating that approximately 4.95 million people died from drug-resistant infections globally in 2019.

“In Nigeria alone,” Egwuenu highlighted, “there were 64,500 deaths attributable to AMR, with 263,400 deaths associated with it,” emphasising the importance of implementing AMS and that over 40 healthcare facilities in Nigeria are already supported by the government and partners in this regard.

The in-country coordinator for the Commonwealth Pharmacist Association, Pharm Mashood Lawal provided an overview of the project in Nigeria. He described the CwPAMS approach as a “model of health partnerships, fostering long-term relationships between UK and LMIC health institutions to improve health services through the reciprocal exchange of skills, knowledge and experience.

“The vision at the heart of our work is a world where everyone has access to healthcare,” said Lawal. “Some of the key expected outcomes of the CwPAMS grant-2 implementation by the five hospitals include using quality antimicrobial consumption data to develop AMS interventions, improving structures, knowledge, and practices related to AMS through a One Health approach in line with the AMR National Action Plans. Other outcomes include evidence-informed health policy and programming, strong and resilient integrated health systems with embedded AMS practices, and optimised use of antimicrobial medicines.”

During the launch, the beneficiary hospitals presented their plans for implementing the grants, while stakeholders provided inputs and encouraged the hospitals to start with achievable objectives to ensure effectiveness, efficiency and long-term sustainability.

The Department of Health and Social Care’s Fleming Fund, a UK aid programme, supports up to 25 countries across Africa and Asia in tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a leading public health threat worldwide.

THET, a global health charity, collaborates with governments, health institutions, and international bodies to train health workers and strengthen health systems in 31 countries.

Established in 1969, the Commonwealth Pharmacist’s Association (CPA) serves as a resource and support network for professional pharmacy associations and individual pharmacists. CPA is an accredited organisation of the commonwealth and an active member of the Commonwealth Health Professions and Partners Alliance (CHPPPA).

Racheal Abujah
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