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Supporting the fight against antimicrobial resistance in Ukraine

An update on the PDA’s support for pharmacists in Ukraine as they care for patients while the conflict occurs in their country.

Tue 9th May 2023 The PDA

After hearing about the challenges with anti-microbial resistance in Ukraine first-hand, Mark Koziol and the PDA, working in partnership with the British Society for Anti-microbial Chemotherapy (BSAC) hosted a fact-finding event in Lublin, Poland to explore the issue in more detail.

Following the successful launch of the Medicines to Ukraine campaign by EPhEU in the Spring of 2022, the first consignment of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment was accompanied across the Border later that year, providing an opportunity for the EPhEU Secretary General and PDA Chairman, Mark Koziol to see at first-hand how important the initiative was to the health care professionals and patients in several Ukrainian hospitals.

Informed and inspired by those working at the frontline of patient care, Mark was able to see how other support could be provided, as well as appreciate the potential for the model to work in other areas of the World where humanitarian support was needed.

Learning about the prevalence of anti-microbial resistance (AMR) from the clinicians he met, and being asked directly for help, has recently culminated in the PDA developing a strategic partnership with the British Society of Anti-microbial Chemotherapy (BSAC). The two Birmingham-based organisations jointly assembled a multidisciplinary team of experts, including pharmacists, from across the UK to learn more from their Ukrainian peers about the issue during a fact-finding mission held in Lublin, Poland near the border with Ukraine at the end of April.

The healthcare systems are very different, and health professionals in Ukraine face challenges exacerbated by the escalation of the invasion by Russia. However, the science around AMR is global and so experts were able to come together to share information about stewardship and Infection Prevention Control with a view to UK delegates offering future support, training and information.

PDA’s Chairman, Mark Koziol said, “We were honoured to have coal face senior level clinicians and senior government officials from Ukraine able to join the team of UK experts in Poland, so that we can better understand the systems, challenges and possibilities to improving AMR both in Ukraine but also more widely. AMR is not confined to borders and this is a problem which pharmacists, wherever they are, can play a significant, and life-saving role.

We have had a lot of commitment from those that attended the event in Lublin to continue to work together to find practical and sustainable solutions to help the situation.

PDA Policy Officer, Tasnim Khan will be presenting a session about the Medicines to Ukraine campaign and the PDA’s work in the area of AMR. The session will take place at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress in London on 12 May 2023 in the Strategy and Policy Theatre at 9.30am, find out more information here.

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