Combating AMR in Kenya
In December 2019 I visited western Kenya. My aim was to better understand the conditions under which AMR is being combatted in this amazing African country. What it would be like with hygiene, hospitals, and education in the rural, remote parts of the country. AMR is serious problem in Kenya and may demand for unorthodox solutions. The selling of self prescribed drugs over the counter in pharmacies has worsened the situation. Unfortunately, the country has limited resources to prevent and combat AMR. Although most professionals seem to use a mobile phone, the use of internet is not well established in the remote parts of the country. AMR campaigns to raise awareness on AMR amongst the population may need more than only fancy websites. Understandable, ‘paper’ campaigns with hand-outs and posters continue to be needed.
BD has a longstanding partnership with PEPFAR and CDC to strengthen lab quality systems and improve clinical practices in Kenya. Building on that experience, they are now launching a program to specifically assess and improve the quality of microbiology procedures and practices in labs through the deployment of the AMR score card, a tool jointly developed by BD and FIND, a Geneva based NGO. The UK government through the Fleming Fund is helping Kenya in strengthening the surveillance systems for antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use. AMR Insights is very proud to have already 2 Ambassadors in Kenya. I look forward to supporting them to combat AMR.