The University of Botswana through the Faculty of Medicine and in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania will embark on a study titled Investigating Antimicrobial Stewardship Practices in Southern Africa (MOSAIC) covering Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Other participating institutions in the MOSAIC study are Ministry of Health and Wellness, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Zimbabwe and University of Cape Town, South Africa.
The study is part of a global project to combat antimicrobial resistance (AR) and other healthcare threats through the establishment of two new networks—the Global Action in Healthcare Network (GAIHN) and the Global AR Laboratory and Response Network (Global AR Lab and Response Network) which the United States of America Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sponsoring to the tune of P260 million (US$22 million) that was awarded to nearly 30 organizations around the world.
The two new networks, paired with additional short-term research projects, will span more than 50 countries worldwide and build programmes that focus on preventing infections in health care through proven infection control; build laboratory capacity to detect antimicrobial-resistant organisms in healthcare, the community, and environment; and develop new and innovative ways to more rapidly detect and respond to threats like AR and COVID-19.
CDC supports innovations and collaborations with investigators to identify and implement new ways to prevent antibiotic-resistant (AR) infections and their spread through innovative research. Over the years 2016 to 2021, more than P613 million (US$52 million) was awarded to fight antibiotic resistance. The funding is determined through a competitive selection process based on scientific needs and funds available.
It is in that regard that the University of Botswana and other partners are working with the University of Pennsylvania to identify gaps in antibiotic stewardship programmes and determine context-specific factors associated with successful implementation of such programmes as part of improving antibiotic use globally.
To that end, MOSAIC specifically aims to develop survey instruments that measure national-level and hospital-level Antimicrobial Stewardship (AS) practices, resources, and needs for use in a global context besides conducting a comprehensive survey of AS practices, resources and needs at the national-level and hospital-level across three countries in southern Africa (Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa). Thus, it will supplement hospital-level survey data with facility-level antibiotic use data across a sample of hospitals in Botswana.
Further, MOSAIC aims to identify national-level and hospital-level contextual barriers and facilitators to the implementation of AS in Botswana and then examine the impact of a stakeholder-engaged capacity building process on knowledge and attitudes towards AS in Botswana.