News story: New scheme for NHS staff to tackle AMR abroad opens

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NHS staff are being invited to apply for a new scheme to help tackle superbugs abroad.

The Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship scheme will send 12 teams of NHS staff to work with local health workers overseas in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The teams will be made up of NHS pharmacists, doctors, specialist nurses and other healthcare workers who will work with partners in:

  • Ghana
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia

AMR is a natural occurrence, however, the rate at which AMR is occurring is increasing due to overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Misuse of antibiotics can jeopardise the safety of routine operations and threaten modern medicine.

To tackle this threat, the use of antibiotics needs to be optimised through antimicrobial stewardship. The role of pharmacists, doctors and specialist nurses is key to ensuring antibiotics are used effectively.

The government is inviting multi-disciplinary teams to apply for a grant of up to £75,000 to deliver a partnership project with a health institution in one of the partner countries.

Projects should aim to improve antimicrobial stewardship and support the development of policy and practice for the use of antibiotics in the partner country.

Interested applicants can learn more about the scheme at launch events taking place across the country.

The events will introduce the scheme, outline the application process and share good practice for project planning. Events will take place in:


This scheme is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care’s Fleming Fund and will be delivered by the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) and the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA).

The Fleming Fund is a £265 million UK Aid fund that seeks to enhance AMR surveillance in low- and middle-income countries across sub-Saharan Africa and south-east Asia.

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, said:


I am delighted that UK aid – provided through the government’s Fleming Fund – will enable these vital partnerships between our fantastic NHS staff and their counterparts overseas to take place.

AMR poses a risk to us all, wherever we call home – collaboration of this kind with our friends and neighbours internationally will be all the more important if we are to tackle this challenge together.

This scheme will play a crucial role in allowing specialists to share expertise and strengthen approaches to antimicrobial stewardship in hospitals both at home and abroad.

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