After the launch of the Kerala Antimicrobial Resistance Strategic Action Plan (KARSAP), ReAct Asia Pacific was asked to arrange a workshop for pharmacologists. One of the main purposes of this program was to initiate and strengthen the role of pharmacologists within the antibiotic stewardship team in tertiary care teaching hospitals. This is an important aspect since teamwork in such big hospitals would invariably be needed in conducting the various tasks in the State Action Plan.
Pharmacologists with their knowledge of medicines, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and adverse effects would be crucial in tasks such as measuring antibiotic use within hospitals as well as aiding the other members of the stewardship team. Towards this, pharmacologists representing eight government medical college hospitals attended a workshop in December hosted by ReAct Asia Pacific, in collaboration with the Department of Infectious Diseases at CMC Vellore.
Raising awareness among pharmacologists
To raise awareness and increase knowledge about the global challenges of antibiotic resistance among the participating pharmacologists, there was a rigid 3-day program:
- The workshop began with an introductory session on AMR by Dr. Sujith Chandy, Head ReAct Asia Pacific and Professor Department of Clinical Pharmacology & Pharmacology at CMC Vellore.
- He also discussed the Global, National and Kerala action plans for AMR.
- Dr. Priscilla Rupali, Head of the Infectious Disease Department, CMC Vellore presented on the concept of Antibiotic Stewardship Programme (ASP) and the various strategies under ASP with different case scenarios.
- Other CMC faculty delivered sessions on Drivers of AMR, Antibiotic use studies from India, Antimicrobial resistance-Global and Indian Scenario, creating antibiograms, framing institutional antibiotic policy, Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAI) and Infection Control, Hand hygiene and Surgical prophylaxis, metrics in antibiotic use, Drug Utilization Research (DUR), Drug and Therapeutics Committee and antibiotic prescription audit.
- Faculty from the Clinical Pharmacology unit at CMC explained the role of TDM and pharmaco-metrics in optimizing antibiotic use.
- On the last day, there was a group discussion by the participants on the various types of roles they could play in their individual hospitals and other methods of support for KARSAP.
Pharmacologists’ involvement will add new dimension
This workshop will hopefully kick start a chain of training workshops for pharmacologists who are often restricted to academic teaching, therapeutic drug monitoring and research. Their involvement in hospitals will add a new dimension not just to stewardship, but also towards improving medicine use in general and ensuring the safety of medicines.