Enabling optimal antimicrobial use in East Africa

Lead Research Organisation: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Department Name: Clinical Sciences


Recently, there has been an increasing awareness of the global threat to human and animal health that is presented by the failure of germs, specifically bacteria, to respond to treatment with medicines which formerly killed them, a phenomenon known as Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Many approaches are being explored to ameliorate this problem, including the critical need to make better use of antibiotics. Optimal use of antibiotics must ensure both that people unwell with bacterial infections continue to have access to medicines that they need and bacteria do not have the opportunity to develop resistance to these "magic bullets". Huge investments have been made in improved laboratory capacity, which permits us to detect and describe AMR and report this problem through surveillance networks to governments and international agencies. These investments in laboratory surveillance have not been matched by enhanced surveillance of or interventions to improve antibiotic use (ABU), particularly in low income countries. We propose to bring together four Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) investments in the field of AMR in East Africa into a GCRF cluster. We will collectively take responsibility for reviewing and "synthesising" all of our ABU research findings from the East African context from across human and animal health. We will work together to co-design "an essential information package" to optimise ABU in the East African context and to define an intervention using this package to change ABU behaviours in communities and health systems.

Planned Impact

During the two stages of the "An Essential Information Package for Optimising Community Antibiotic Use in East Africa" we will:

1. Undertake synthesis of evidence data on antibiotic use and information availability across East Africa
2. Design and pre-test an essential information package
3. Generate strengthened engagement with the East Africa AMR community
4. Produce a validated approach to optimising ABU

The intended beneficiaries of our consortium include:

- Research and policy communities
- Communities and policy makers in which cluster is active
- Communities and policy makers in which cluster is active
- Users, dispensers and prescribers of antibiotics in community

Beneficiaries will benefit from this research through?

- Development of improved targets for optimising antibiotic use
- Development of an intervention to reduce AMR
- Improved understanding of febrile illness, ABU and AMR across a well-developed network
- Improved access to antibiotics for those who need it
- Improved use of antibiotics by those who receive them
- Reduced prevalence of Drug resistant Infection


10 25 50