Exploring the Antimicrobial Stewardship Educational Needs of Healthcare Students

7 June, 2022

Half of respondents in this study 'reported a lack of resources for accessing up-to-date information on drugs'. Citation, abstract and comment from me below.

CITATION: Antibiotics (Basel). 2022 May 19;11(5):691. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics11050691.

Exploring the Antimicrobial Stewardship Educational Needs of Healthcare Students and the Potential of an Antimicrobial Prescribing App as an Educational Tool in Selected African Countries

Omotola Ogunnigbo 1, Maxencia Nabiryo 1, Moses Atteh 2, Eric Muringu 3, Olatunde James Olaitan 4, Victoria Rutter 1, Diane Ashiru-Oredope 1

DOI: 10.3390/antibiotics11050691


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health threat and one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. AMR contributes to 700,000 deaths annually and more deaths, as many as 10 million are projected to happen by 2050. Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) activities have been important in combating the ripple effects of AMR and several concerted efforts have been taken to address the issues of antimicrobial resistance. The Commonwealth Pharmacists Association through the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS) programme has been enhancing the capacity of health institutions in Low-Middle-Income Countries (LMIC) to combat AMR. Through such efforts, an antimicrobial prescribing app (CwPAMS app) was launched and delivered to support antimicrobial prescribing and improve AMS practice in four African countries; Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, and Tanzania. The app provides easy access to infection management resources to improve appropriate use of antimicrobials in line with national and international guidelines. This study aimed to identify and explore the potential for the usability of the CwPAMS app among healthcare students across selected African countries that are part of the Commonwealth. The study equally evaluated the healthcare students' understanding and attitudes towards antimicrobial resistance and stewardship. Despite 70% of the respondents indicating that they had been taught about prudent use of antibiotics, diagnosis of infections and their management using antibiotics in their universities, notable knowledge gaps were discovered: 52.2% of the respondents had no prior information on the term AMS, 50.6% of them reported a lack of resources for accessing up-to-date information on drugs, for instance only 36% had had an opportunity to access an app as a learning resource even when 70% of the respondents thought that a mobile app would support in increasing their knowledge. Those challenges reveal an opportunity for the CwPAMS App as a potential option to address AMR and AMS gaps among healthcare students.

COMMENT: This is an indictment of the dysfunction of the global healthcare information system, which HIFA has seeked to strengthen since 2006 but with insufficent progress. The HIFA Strategy 2022-2024 aims to accelerate progress but is constrained by our income. We need £140k (USD$175k) per year to implement the strategy, but currently have £40k (USD$50k) per year. Meanwhile the annual costs of antimicrobial resistance are projected to rise to 1 *trillion* US dollars annually by 2050 (US$1,000,000,000,000).

The HIFA Project on Improving the availability of reliable information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines is currently seeking funds to address some of the glaring problems we have identified, most recently in the systematic review we published with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University of Nagasaki. Read here for more info:


‘Globally, most prescribers receive most of their prescribing information from the pharmaceutical industry and in many countries this is the only information they receive.’ World Medicines Report, WHO - this was written in 2011, and sadly the problem remains largely unaddressed.

Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator HIFA Project on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines http://www.hifa.org/projects/prescribers-and-users-medicines

Let's build a future where every person has access to reliable healthcare information and is protected from misinformation - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is global coordinator of Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org - a global health community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in official relations with WHO. HIFA brings stakeholders together to accelerate progress towards universal access to reliable healthcare information. Twitter: @hifa_org neil@hifa.org