SAPG granted funding for antimicrobial stewardship work in Ghana

The Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG) have been awarded funding to scope antimicrobial prescribing and practice in dental infections in two Ghanaian hospitals.

The funding has been provided by the Fleming Fund’s Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship project. It follows a successful collaboration between SAPG and colleagues in Ghana to develop and implement robust and reliable systems and processes for antimicrobial stewardship in two Ghanaian hospitals.

The additional work will be led by SAPG, Project Lead, Dr Jacqui Sneddon, and will be supported by health psychologists from The Change Exchange at the University of Manchester, Dr Wendy Thompson, a leading dental researcher and psychology colleagues from the University of Ghana.

The team has started to explore dental antibiotic use with colleagues in Ghana Police Hospital and Keta Municipal Hospital, carrying out an audit of prescriptions for antibiotics from dental outpatients. They are looking at the volume and prevalence of prescribing, reasons for antibiotic treatment and which antibiotics are being prescribed, and assessing compliance with Ghana Standard Treatment Guidelines.

Initial discussions about the provision of dental services in Ghana suggests that patients with toothache tend to consult community pharmacists or chemical sellers (in more rural areas), seeking treatment with painkillers and/or antibiotics. Dentists mainly work in hospitals so patients need to go to hospital as outpatients if they want to access dental services or treatment. This is usually in cases where initial treatment in the community has failed or symptoms are severe.

To better understand how and where antibiotics are used for dental infections and the associated behaviours of healthcare professionals and patients, the team plans to conduct interviews with hospital dental staff and community pharmacists.

Dr Jacqui Sneddon, said:

“A review of audit data in Ghana Police Hospital suggested that dental teams are high users of antibiotics. Using a mixed methods approach including outputs from hospital audits and a qualitative analysis of interviews, we will develop stewardship interventions aimed at both healthcare staff and patients to improve use of antibiotics in hospital and community pharmacy settings.

“Given the success of our hospital-based education and quality improvement work to date we are keen to build on this work by expansion to dental services and to use behaviour change in future stewardship interventions.”

Further funding opportunities will be considered for intervention development and implementation. These are likely to include education on use of antibiotics as well as tools to engage patients around managing dental pain.

Find out more about SAPG’s work in Ghana.

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