Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Champions for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Sierra Leone

Catherine Setchell

Senior Communications Officer, King's Global Health Partnerships

30 June 2022

King’s Global Health Partnerships and our long-term partners in Sierra Leone – Connaught Hospital and the Young Pharmacists Group – recently completed a six-month project, funded by the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS) programme, to address Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) challenges, by strengthening the capacity of the national health workforce and institutions in Commonwealth countries.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is one of the largest global health threats facing humanity, as misuse and overuse of antimicrobials has driven the development of drug-resistant pathogens.

One of the main components of the project was to support early-career pharmacists at Connaught Hospital in Freetown, to become 'AMS champions' through an accredited training and mentoring programme, and for them to share their learning within hospitals and the wider community.


AMS Champions Freetown
Pharmacist Abu Bakarr Sesay is one of the newly trained 'Antimicrobial Stewardship Champions' at Connaught Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone

We spoke with Lt. Pharm Abu Bakarr Sesay, one of the ten young pharmacists at Connaught Hospital who trained to be an 'AMS champion' on the programme, with support from AMS specialist pharmacists from across King’s Health Partners’ NHS Trusts.

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.


This project is funded through the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship Scheme, which is funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) through the Fleming Fund for the benefit of the UK and partner country health sectors.

Latest news