The World Health Organization (WHO) rates the rising incidence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as one of the top ten global public health challenges. Containing and controlling the spread of AMR is particularly challenging in resource-limited settings as often it is associated with weak infection prevention and control (IPC) measures and ineffective Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) strategies that lead to inappropriate use of antimicrobial medicines.
FHI 360 recognizes that part of addressing the AMR problem requires strong IPC and AMS strategies at both local and global levels. Through implementation science projects such as the USAID funded Medicines, Technologies, and Pharmaceutical Services (MTaPS) program, we have collaborated with donors, countries’ governments, and local stakeholders in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda to support establishing and/or reviving hospital-based teams to lead implementation of AMS and IPC activities, and developing and updating of countries’ IPC guidelines and implementation of those in healthcare facilities. This includes employing country specific action plans including IPC assessments, customized trainings, providing buffer personal protective equipment (PPE), and continuous improvement actions in healthcare facilities all under national leadership. We also have supported implementation of effective country-specific AMS programs at both national and hospital levels to promote access and rational use of antimicrobial medicines for improved patient outcomes while containing AMR. Our contribution has led to updated national AMS guidelines (including revisions of essential medicine lists) and developing and updating IPC guidelines for supported countries. We are proud to be a part of the global effort to address antimicrobial resistance.