Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City launches point-of-care tool for antimicrobial management

  06 April 2022

Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), one of the UAE’s largest hospitals for serious and complex care and a joint-venture partnership between Mayo Clinic and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), has become the first hospital in the Middle East to launch a prominent point-of-care tool for antimicrobial management.

The launch of the tool is in aid of SSMC’s mission to promote the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents, reduce the burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and shed a much-needed light on the dangers of the mismanagement and over-prescription of antibiotics.

Dr. Zahir Babiker, a consultant physician at SSMC’s Division of Tropical and Infectious Diseases, says: “Antimicrobial resistance  is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time, with nearly 5  million deaths associated with bacterial AMR were reported in 2019 alone, based on a  recent study by The Lancet. AMR occurs when germs present in the human body stop responding to the medications designed to kill them. As a result, germs such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses will continue to grow and pose a serious risk to the lives of people who are harboring those germs. Therefore, careful use of antimicrobial agents such as antibiotics is important and requires educating people and persuading clinicians to follow an evidence-based approach for prescribing antibiotics.”

Over-prescription of antibiotics is a major factor contributing to the increase in antimicrobial resistance. Antibiotics are often over-prescribed in situations where people actively pursue a prescription, or where doctors are not recommending alternatives or are fearful of reprisals if they withhold them. These behaviours often drive a culture promoting unnecessary antibiotic prescribing. 

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