What is the appropriate antimicrobial use surveillance tool at the health facility level for Uganda and other low- and middle-income countries?
An appropriate antimicrobial use (AMU) surveillance system provides critical data and evidence on which antimicrobial stewardship interventions are based. However, Uganda and most other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) lack efficient systems for monitoring AMU due to unique health system challenges.
We reviewed the key tools available for AMU surveillance in health facilities. Based on our implementation experience, we present arguments on the need for country authorities to adapt a customized and standardized tool for national uses.
Despite ongoing efforts to set up AMU surveillance programs in Uganda, AMU data remain sparse, with most of the available data collected through antimicrobial stewardship related continuous quality improvement efforts implemented by global AMR control programs. There is variability in the interpretation of available AMU surveillance tools and a need to identify the most appropriate AMU surveillance methodologies and tools for Uganda and other LMICs. Data fields for sex and gender are incorrectly categorized and there is no tool that records pregnancy variable. Based on the past four years of practical implementation experience since the launch of the World Health Organization’s Point Prevalence Survey methodology in 2018 for inpatient settings, we believe that the tool should be modified in cognizance of existing capacity and priorities in resource-constrained settings.
The World Health Organization, regional experts, ministry of health authorities, and other stakeholders should urgently review available tools with a view to adopting a customized and standardized facility AMU surveillance methodology suitable for national-level rollout in LMICs.
By JP Waswa, Reuben Kiggundu, Niranjan Konduri, Hassan Kasujja, Lynn Lieberman Lawry, Mohan P. Joshi