BLHL shortlisted for a PHE Antibiotic Guardian award

Congratulations to the Brighton-Lusaka Pharmacy Link which has been shortlisted for a PHE Antibiotic Guardian award for the innovative work it is doing on antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in a teaching hospital setting in Zambia. Antimicrobial resistance is a global public health threat and AMS – a systematic approach to antimicrobial prescribing which limits indiscriminate use of antibiotics thereby protecting their future usefulness – helps slow the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance when applied in combination with other measures such as infection control practices (e.g. hand-washing).

The project ‘Championing Pharmacists as Antibiotic Guardians in Zambia; the Brighton-Lusaka Pharmacy Link Initiative’ is a partnership between  University Teaching Hospital – Lusaka, Brighton & Sussex Medical School, Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals, University of Zambia, University of Brighton and the University of Sussex led by Dr Jasmin Islam (BSMS), Dr Aubrey Kalungia (UNZA), Luke Alutuli (UTH) and Anja St. Clair Jones (BSUH).  It is funded by an award from the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative which is supported by the Department of Health and Social Care Fleming Fund, the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association and THET.  The Link has developed a coordinated AMS programme in Lusaka that includes monitoring prescribing practices in different clinical areas, working to coordinate infection control activities with AMS activities, supporting educational activities and developing leadership skills for pharmacists. The team also secured funding to train up all teaching hospital pharmacies in Zambia to make alcohol-based hand rub to help tackle COVID-19.  (https://commonwealthpharmacy.org/press-release-how-to-manufacture-alcohol-hand-rub-training-video-launched-to-support-covid-19-response/. This work was presented to a UK parliamentarian group in July and was highly commended.

Prof Mel Newport, Chair of the Brighton Lusaka Health Link, says ‘the Brighton Lusaka Health Link is going from strength to strength across a range of disciplines despite some of the constraints imposed by the coronavirus pandemic and the Pharmacy Link is one of our flagship projects. Being nominated for this award is well-deserved recognition for the pioneering work the pharmacists are doing on antimicrobial resistance which is a major global health concern.  I wish them lots of luck!’

The awards ceremony will be held as an online event on Thursday 26th November 2020.