1. Can you tell us a bit about the work you’ve been doing on the antimicrobial stewardship project?
Working with other colleagues in the CwPAMS project I have been promoting rational drug use, both in Connaught Hospital and the community. We have done this by being involved in clinical ward rounds, reviewing medical notes and identifying antimicrobial-related problems, including non-adherence to treatment guidelines. Findings were then discussed with the prescriber and other medical professionals.
We also completed Continuous Professional Development (CPD) modules and engaged in online and face to face classes with our tutors, as well as being involved in raising awareness of AMR and medication misuse, amongst the local community.
2. Why is this work so important?
This work is important in Sierra Leone because the rate of antimicrobial misuse is very alarming, both in the hospitals and in the communities. In fact, non-medical practitioners sell antibiotics like rifampicin, levofloxacin, etc in buses and market places without knowledge of the repercussions. Some large hospitals do not have committees like drug and therapeutic committees, antimicrobial stewardship committee, or infection prevention and control (IPC) committee, and need to further develop working documents like treatment guidelines or hospital formulary to support rational prescribing [of antimicrobials].
3. What were some of the main challenges on the project?
The alarming rate of antimicrobial misuse amongst prescribers for various reasons, and lack of evidence-based prescribing amongst prescribers. Even with the Connaught antimicrobial guidelines available, prescribers still don’t use them. A good number of the prescribers are unaware of the Connaught treatment guidelines.
This project has shown us that a multidisciplinary approach is essential in tackling drug related problems in the hospital.
4. What have been some of the impacts of the project?
The CwPAMS project has increased the awareness of antimicrobial use in Connaught Hospital and some communities.
This project has helped Connaught to be the first public hospital in Sierra Leone to set up an AMS committee, dedicated to raising awareness of AMR and AMS in the hospital and community. And it has empowered the Pharmacists who took part in the project to be able to work in their various facilities, to promote rational drug use and antimicrobial surveillance.