Strengthening Laboratory Capacities to Fight Antimicrobial Resistance in Sierra Leone

Strengthening Laboratory Capacities to Fight Antimicrobial Resistance in Sierra Leone

Within the ongoing battle towards the rising menace of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) pathogens, Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Well being, with assist from the World Well being Group (WHO), has launched into a sequence of essential coaching initiatives. These efforts aimed to equip healthcare professionals particularly laboratory officers with the mandatory expertise to determine bacterial brokers and carry out antibiotic susceptibility checks as a part of actions to fight the specter of AMR successfully.

On the forefront of those initiatives are two complete coaching packages that had been held on the Wusum Lodge in Makeni. The primary program, spanning two days from the 15th -16th February 2024, offered a refresher coaching and orientation periods for twenty-nine (29) phlebotomists. The coaching targeted on enhancing their experience in aseptic assortment of blood pattern, packaging, and environment friendly delivery to microbiology laboratories for additional analytical processes.

Within the second initiative, a four-day coaching session from the 18th -22nd February 2024, introduced collectively twenty-seven (27) laboratory technologists from hospitals throughout numerous districts, together with Kailahun, Kenema, Kambia, Western Space City, Western Space Rural, and Tonkolili. The first goal was to empower these professionals with essential expertise in Laboratory High quality Administration Methods (LQMS), important for making certain the accuracy and reliability of laboratory checks, notably in figuring out bacterial pathogens and conducting antibiotic susceptibility testing.

AMR has been recognized as a major public well being problem by the WHO, with bacterial brokers quickly creating resistance to antibiotics. To deal with this difficulty, the WHO has established the World Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System (GLASS) to gather knowledge on AMR from member nations.

In 2019, it was estimated that there have been 9,700 AMR-related deaths in Sierra Leone. Out of 19 nations within the African area, Sierra Leone had the fifth highest age-standardized AMR-related mortality.  The absence of bacteriology capacities, antimicrobial stewardship packages, and the excessive utilization of antibiotics in public hospitals will improve the burden of AMR within the nation.

In step with WHO suggestions, Sierra Leone is actively working to ascertain nationwide coordinating facilities for AMR surveillance and improve laboratory capacities for testing and surveillance. Whereas AMR surveillance methods have been developed, there’s a urgent have to strengthen nationwide laboratory capabilities for bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing.

Because of monetary assist from the Fleming Fund, WHO Sierra Leone has facilitated the procurement laboratory tools and reagents, renovation of three laboratory websites, and offered capability constructing for laboratory employees. The coaching on LQMS, collectively facilitated by MOH officers and WHO technical officers lined 12 important high quality parts outlined within the WHO Laboratory High quality Administration System curriculum.

Upon completion of those actions, Sierra Leone will boast three bacteriology laboratories able to testing and confirming ailments equivalent to acute watery diarrhea, bacterial meningitis, and different bacterial infections. These laboratories may even conduct antibiotic susceptibility testing that may present clinicians with evidence-based knowledge for antibiotic prescription and generate AMR knowledge that can be submitted to GLASS. Furthermore, Sierra Leone’s contributions to international surveillance packages like GLASS will allow policymakers to make knowledgeable choices and replace pointers for bettering antibiotic therapies repeatedly. By strengthening laboratory capacities and enhancing AMR surveillance, Sierra Leone is taking proactive steps in the direction of safeguarding public well being and combating the worldwide menace of antimicrobial resistance.

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