Moshi, Tanzania – November 8, 2023:
In a momentous event held in Moshi, Tanzania, the Antimicrobial Stewardship Masterclass was inaugurated, marking a significant leap forward in the collaborative efforts of Radboud University Medical Center, the Netherlands, and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Tanzania, to combat antimicrobial resistance in low-resource settings across East Africa. The inauguration speech was given by Dr. Jeroen Schouten (Masterclass director) from Radboudumc, Dr. Mirfin Mpundu from the International Center for Antimicrobial Resistance Solutions (ICARS), Mrs. Emiliana Francis from the Ministry of Health, Tanzania, and Prof Leveina Msuya, representing the Provost of KCMUCo. The event was coordinated by Dr. Norman Jonas from KCMUCo, as well as Dr. Jeroen Schouten, Annelie Monnier, and Dr. Neda Kostova from Radboudumc.
The Antimicrobial Stewardship Masterclass is an initial part of a capacity-building program aimed at addressing antimicrobial stewardship in low-resource settings across East Africa. The program was tailored to the unique challenges of low-resource settings and equipped healthcare professionals with practical skills applicable to their specific contexts. The project’s overarching goal is the development of sustainable capacity at both the country and regional levels. Through a competency-based approach, health professionals are equipped with the necessary skills for appropriate antimicrobial prescribing, contributing significantly to the global fight against antimicrobial resistance. The initial Masterclass was organized for 40 participants forming 10 hospital teams from 4 countries (Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zimbabwe), who are using the acquired skills from the program to develop their own projects and implement them in their hospitals. In the coming years, national trainers will continue to deliver the same program for new hospitals in 3 East African countries, building a community of professionals equipped to implement effective antimicrobial stewardship programs using a behavior-change approach.
The collaborative endeavor underscores the commitment of Radboudumc and KCMUCo to address the urgent issues of infectious disease management and antimicrobial stewardship in low-resource settings. The partnership is grounded in a Memorandum of Understanding between Radboudumc and ICARS, with KCMUCo playing a key part in implementation. The Masterclass hosted participants from Tanzania and other East African countries, providing hands-on training and setting the stage for future collaborations. “The Dutch AMS Masterclass & SPICE expert consultancy developed and delivered by Radboudumc is an excellent resource that can assist in changing behavior and practice in human use of antimicrobials while helping to build national capacity for expanding and maintaining AMS programmes.” Dr Mirfin Mpundu, Regional Lead Africa, ICARS.
The Antimicrobial Stewardship Masterclass’s inauguration represents a pivotal step towards building a healthier and more resilient future for communities in East Africa and beyond.