Kakamega: Cambridge

Working to strengthen Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS)

In 2021, we partnered with Kakamega County Teaching and Referral Hospital (KCTRH), a 650-bed public hospital located in western Kenya, and the Medicine and Nursing schools at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST). The partnership is working on antimicrobial stewardship (AMS), an area that poses significant threat to populations across the globe.

In Kenya:

  • A national strategy for AMS was published in 2017. However, there is evidence of superbugs and high levels of antimicrobial resistance.
  • There is high antibiotic use, and often antibiotics are consumed without a prescription.
  • Among other LMICs, surgical site infections are higher. KCTRH is a referral hospital that carries out a high volume of surgical procedures. This makes infection control and AMS training for staff, very important.
  • Data on infection surveillance is poor. This information is key in understanding the rate and speed of antimicrobial resistance.
  • There’s a lack of local guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis. Education to improve appropriate antibiotic prophylaxis is associated with reduction of SSI in LMICs (Cooper et al.).

Our Response – The Kakamega: Cambridge. Working to strengthen Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS)

With funding from the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Scheme, we aim to:

  • ensure more judicious use of antibiotics and improved antibiotic surveillance
  • build capacity and understanding of pharmacists and other clinical staff
  • strengthen Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) programs and diagnostics.

The partnership will involve staff at KCTRH, MMUST and Cambridge-based NHS and academic institutions to work in partnership to achieve these aims. We plan to focus initially on KCTRH surgical wards, then disseminate knowledge and processes more widely throughout the hospital.

Our Partnership Plan 

The partnership will develop an AMR action plan and a team of AMR trainers and AMS programs. The partnership will use the surgical department at KCTRH as a site to test the Global PPS as a surveillance tool, and to build AMS systems and processes.

Planned activities include:

  • Conduct AMR & AMS awareness assessment using audit tool both at KCTRH and MMUST
  • Enrol the surgery department into the Global PPS program. The Global PPS tools will be used to analyse the data
  • Microbiological assessment to be conducted within the surgical department
  • Clinical and nursing staff enrol into the CwPAMS CPD programmes
  • Conduct a Gender, Equality and Social Inclusion needs assessment and develop a strategy and action plan.

What is a health partnership?

A long-term link between health institutions in high and low/middle-income countries, health partnerships facilitate the flow of ideas and expertise between the different healthcare systems to strengthen services and improve patient outcomes. Health partnerships achieve this through training programmes, sharing and learning, based on the healthcare needs of the overseas partner.

Interested in getting involved?

We are looking for new volunteers to join this partnership. 

  • Do you have knowledge and expertise in surgery, nursing, infection control and/or antimicrobial stewardship?
  • Have an interest in global health?
  • Interested in bi-directional sharing and learning with healthcare workers in low- and middle-income settings?
  • Keen to volunteer? Much of our work takes places virtually and international travel may take place.
  • We are also looking for someone to lead on gender, equality and social inclusion (GESI) within the partnership, which is a key part of our work.

Head to our becoming a member or becoming a partner pages to see how to get involved.

“Collaboration and dialogue with medical professionals overseas enables a broader perspective of the needs of less well-off populations, fosters understanding, particularly when treating migrants here in the UK, and leads to a greater appreciation of the NHS… Second hand descriptions are no substitute for being there.”

Peter Gough GP, Cambridge Global Health Partnerships Advisory Committee member and volunteer