ENHANCING THE CAPACITY OF COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS TO COMBAT ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

Ghada Shouna, BPharm,Msc Clinical pharmacy,Sudan Medical Council.Sudaan.

 
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the major challenges facing public health in this century, affecting both current and future generations. It threatens human health and poses great medical and economical burdens and particularly pressing in developing countries, where the infectious disease burden is high. The irrational prescribing, dispensing and use of antibiotics remain the major factors of AMR
development. Studies have shown high rates of irrational prescribing of antibiotics, while the majority of antibiotics in developing countries are purchased over the counter, putting the responsibility merely on the dispensing pharmacist. Dispensing remains the core role of community pharmacists, which in the past was confined to preparing the medicine and giving it out to the patient, but today this extends to
ensuring the appropriate use of the medicine by the patient.
Community pharmacists play an important role in health care provision. In low-middle income countries they are an important source of providing healthcare advice. The main responsibility of a community pharmacist is to counsel patients and advice on the use of their medications whether prescribed by the  doctor or purchased over the counter. This puts them in a pivotal position in ensuring the safe and appropriate prescribing and use of medicine as they are positioned between the prescribers and patients. In this aspect, community pharmacists may play a powerful role in promoting the prudent use of antibiotics by checking and screening the prescriptions prior to dispensing and counseling the patients on the use of antibiotics in addition to raising their awareness on the issue of AMR. However, in order to fulfill their role successfully, there is a need to invest in developing and enhancing the
capacity of community pharmacists through appropriate and focused education and training at all levels in order to equip them with the necessary knowledge, skill and attitude. This presentation will explore mechanisms and approaches to develop the above which includes appropriate education at undergraduate level, targeted training in the form of continuous professional development coupled with a stringent regulatory system in low-middle income countries.
Objectives:

  • To provide an overview of the antimicrobial resistance situation in low-middle income countries
  • To highlight major factors that contribute to the rising problem of antimicrobial
    resistance in low-middle income countries
  • To discuss the role of community pharmacists in combating the problem of
    antimicrobial resistance

To explore practical approaches for enhancing the capacity of community pharmacists
to combat antimicrobial resistance in low-middle income countries