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Sustained reduction in third-generation cephalosporin usage in adult inpatients following introduction of an antimicrobial stewardship program in a large urban hospital in Malawi

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Lester, Rebecca ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0259-9630, Haigh, Kate, Wood, A, MacPherson, Eleanor, Maheswaran, Hendran, Bogue, Patrick, Hanger, Sofia, Kalizang’oma, Akuzike, Srirathan, Vinothan, Kulapani, David, Mallewa, Jane, Nyirenda, Mulinda, Jewell, Christopher, Heyderman, Robert, Gordon, Melita, Lalloo, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7680-2200, Tolhurst, Rachel ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3005-6641 and Feasey, Nicholas ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4041-1405 (2020) 'Sustained reduction in third-generation cephalosporin usage in adult inpatients following introduction of an antimicrobial stewardship program in a large urban hospital in Malawi'. Clinical Infectious Diseases. (In Press)

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Abstract

Background
Third-generation cephalosporins (3GC) remain the first-choice empiric antibiotic for severe infection in many sub-Saharan African hospitals. In Malawi, limited availability of alternatives, mean that strategies to prevent spread of 3GC-resistance (3GC-R) are imperative, however suitable approaches to antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in low-income settings are not well studied.
Methods
We introduced an AMS intervention to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre. The intervention consisted of a smartphone prescribing application and regular point-prevalence surveys (PPS) with prescriber feedback. We evaluate the effects of the intervention on 3GC usage and on cost of providing antibiotics. Using thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews and participant observations, we additionally evaluate the acceptability of the stewardship program.
Results
The proportion of antibiotic prescriptions for a 3GC reduced from 193/241 (80.1%) to 177/330 (53.6%) (percentage decrease 26.5% [95%CI; 18.7 to 34.1]) with no change in case-fatality rate. Cost analysis estimated annual savings of US$15,000. Qualitative research revealed trust in the guideline and found its accessibility through smartphones helpful to guide clinical decisions. Operational health-system barriers and hierarchal clinical relationships lead to continued reliance on 3GC.
Conclusions
We report the successful introduction of an antimicrobial stewardship approach in Malawi. By focusing on pragmatic interventions and simple aims, we demonstrate the feasibility, acceptability and cost-saving of a stewardship program where resources are limited. In doing so, we provide a suitable starting point for expansion of AMS interventions in this and other low-income settings.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QW Microbiology and Immunology > QW 45 Microbial drug resistance. General or not elsewhere classified.
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Clinical Sciences & International Health > Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Programme (MLW)
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciaa162
Depositing User: Rebecca Lester
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2020 18:29
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2020 10:07
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/13974

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