Collaboration and Commitment: Orienting Health Professionals to Protocols for the Rational Use of Antibiotics in Jordan

November 15, 2023

According to the World Health Organization, 700,000 people die annually from antimicrobial resistance (AMR), many of those in developing countries. Jordan addresses the grave public health crisis by implementing a national action plan to combat AMR, including efforts to standardize appropriate antimicrobial usage and rationalize the use of antimicrobials in Jordanian hospitals.

The MTaPS Program Jordan, in partnership with the Jordanian Ministry of Health (MOH) and the antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) committees of Al Hussain Salt New Hospital and Al Mafraq Government Hospital, led the development of protocols for surgical prophylaxis and empiric treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs). These protocols have received official endorsement from the Minister of Health and the MOH Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and have been distributed to all MOH hospitals. Compliance with these guidelines is now a mandatory requirement.

MTaPS Jordan is actively assisting both hospitals in orienting their health care providers to these essential protocols. On October 29 and 30, 2023, the MOH Pharmacy and Clinical Pharmacy Directorate, in collaboration with the MOH Hospitals Administration Directorate and the two hospitals, organized a comprehensive two-session orientation workshop facilitated by members of the AMS committees. Participants comprised senior health care providers including doctors, nurses, infection prevention specialists, and quality focal officers from both hospitals.

Dr. Lama Massadeh, Head of the MOH Pharmacy and Clinical Pharmacy Directorate, welcomes the participants. Photo credit: MTaPS Jordan

Welcoming participants to the workshop, Dr. Lama Massadeh, Head of the MOH Pharmacy and Clinical Pharmacy Directorate, said,

“I am glad to be part of this orientation today and am very proud of the success that the two hospitals have accomplished—many thanks to the MTaPS program and USAID. I am sure that this experience will serve as a successful model for all MOH hospitals.”

The two hospitals went on to present the developed protocols and shared insights into the evidence-based surgical prophylaxis and UTI-recommended regimens. Mr. Ayman Nuaimat, Head of Monitoring and Indicators Reporting Department at the MOH Quality Directorate, showcased the audit tools and key performance indicators and presented the results from the initial assessment carried out with MTaPS’ support. The assessment highlighted the prevailing clinical practices concerning antibiotic usage and the specific areas requiring attention as the two hospitals implement these protocols. Mr. Nuaimat remarked,

“I am very impressed by the progress that these two hospitals have accomplished along the journey of protocol development. Having me today presenting the baseline assessment data is a great milestone; these data will serve as a great head start to assure proper protocol implementation and compliance.”

Dr. Ruba Wisha, Senior Clinical Pharmacist from Al Hussain Salt New Hospital and Head of the hospital’s AMS committee, contributes to the discussion. Photo credit: MTaPS Jordan

The active collaboration between MTaPS, the central MOH directorates, the hospitals’ leadership, and health care providers underscores commitment to enhancing the rational use of antibiotics, equipping the hospitals with the necessary tools for a successful and sustainable implementation of these protocols. Dr. Rami Abu Ruman, Al Hussain Salt New Hospital Director, emphasized the importance of following through on implementation:

“I am thankful and proud of our collaboration with USAID MTaPS and involvement in shaping these protocols that align with our requirements. However, our dedication extends beyond development; we aim to ensure successful implementation through knowledge transfer and diligent monitoring of performance indicators. As a teaching hospital, we require tools and research firmly rooted in the latest scientific advancements and given the growing threat of microbial resistance.”

MTaPS—aided by the foundation of pharmaceutical systems strengthening work and solid partnerships at the local level—continues to extend support, including monitoring implementation and offering on-the-job technical assistance with the AMS committees from the two hospitals.

Countries: Jordan