Kliniken &… Institute Heidelberger Institut… Groups & Projects Working Groups Research B-Change


Improving antibiotics use in West Africa: exploring current situation and developing strategies for behaviour change

Principal investigator: Aurélia Souares & Carine Baxerres

Funding: ANR & BMBF


1/ Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany

2/ French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), Marseille, France

3/ Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM), Hamburg, Germany

4/ Nouna Health Research Centre (CRSN), Nouna, Burkina Faso

5/ Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR), Kumasi Ghana

6/ Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Animal Research Institute (CSIR-ARI), Accra, Ghana.

7/ Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), Accra, Ghana

8/ Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS), Ouagadougou Burkina Faso

9/ Centre International de Recherche-Développement sur l’Elevage en zone Subhumide (CIRDES), Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso

Project description:
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is rising to dangerously high levels worldwide and is currently one of the largest threats to global health, food security, and development. AMR occurs naturally but is accelerated by poor infection prevention and control, and above all by inappropriate use and overuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics are used for the treatment of human and animal diseases, but also at sub-therapeutic levels in animals for growth promotion, improved feed conversion efficiency, and disease prevention. Without behavioural change, antibiotic resistance will remain a major health threat even if new medicines are developed. To tackle this challenge, we need to create the right environment so that behavioural change can happen. To design suitable local and global interventions, it is essential that we first assess the current status of AMR and identify knowledge gaps. The study will be conducted in the Kossi Province, Burkina Faso and in the Ashanti Region, Ghana. We will: i) assess baseline data on AMR pathogens among farm animals and along the food chain, ii) investigate the perception and utilization of antibiotics, including sources of the drugs and reasons for utilization. as well as perceptions related to AMR among health care workers, farmers and communities. This will be done through a mixed-method study. All data collected will serve to develop and refine an intervention to improve awareness of antimicrobial resistance through effective communication, education and training, and to stimulate responsible use of antimicrobial agents in humans and animals. The intervention will be developed and pre-tested following a “design thinking” approach. The diversity of expertise and discipline within the research team ranges from anthropology to microbiology, human and animal health, sociology and epidemiology and this project presents a unique opportunity to look at the AMR problem from different perspectives, to develop a comprehensive intervention adapted to the local context, and to answer the needs of communities, health care workers and livestock farmers.

Contact: Aurélia Souares (souares(at)uni-heidelberg.de)


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