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Shaikh Khalid opening an exhibition being held on the sidelines of the conference

Bahrain to place teams to monitor antibiotics use

MANAMA, February 25, 2015

Teams of monitors could soon be in place in every hospital in Bahrain to supervise the prescription of antibiotics.

This will be one of the key recommendations at the conclusion of the International Collaborative Conference in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, which began yesterday (February 24) at the Gulf Hotel, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

The three-day conference, held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, has a special focus on the appropriate use of antibiotics, or 'antimicrobial stewardship', and has brought together more than 450 doctors and medical professionals from the GCC and further afield.

On the sidelines of the conference, BDF Hospital Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiologist consultant Dr Manaf Al Qahtani told the GDN that antibiotics were resorted to far too often and were eating up hospital budgets.

“One-third of all inpatients at any given time receive antibiotics and up to a half of that can be classified as inappropriate use,” he said.

“Antimicrobials (that kill micro-organisms or inhibit their growth) account for upwards of 30 per cent of hospital pharmacy budgets '“ proper stewardship programmes could save 10 per cent of this.”

Dr Al Qahtani said that teams of monitors, made up of experts in infectious disease, clinical pharmacists, data collection support staff, infection control officers and epidemiologists, could supervise antibiotic usage and dispensation to reduce inappropriate use.

The first team is due to start its work at the BDF Hospital within three weeks of the conference's conclusion, and they will then train other teams on how to collect data related to hospital- acquired infection and antibiotic consumption rate.

“This will help us with a rich amount of data, which we really need,” said Dr Al Qahtani.


Meanwhile, at the opening session of the conference, UAE University College of Medicine Associate Professor of Microbiology and Al Ain Tawam Hospital consultant clinical microbiologist Agnes Sonnevend-Pal highlighted the limited availability of reliable data regionally as the greatest difficulty when trying to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

“Although studies from some countries in the region show the geographically extensive emergence of AMR, there is limited availability of data in this field in the GCC,” she said.

“There is also a lack of robust functioning national AMR surveillance systems and lack of collaboration with the animal health sector, coupled with the absence of legislation or the lack of enforcement of laws.”

The conference was opened by Deputy Premier Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, in the presence of Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi, Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan, Follow-Up Affairs Minister Mohammed Al Mutawa, Health Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Aisha Mubarak Bu Onq, Bahrain Medical Society president Dr Mohammed Al Rafea and other officials.

Workshops and plenary sessions will be held today and tomorrow focusing on the training of health care workers on so-called 'antimicrobial stewardship'.

Meanwhile, key recommendations will be submitted to the Health Ministry tomorrow. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | Hospital | monitor | Antibiotics | team |

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