KUMASI, GHANA – HAMBURG
AMR NETWORK

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PARTNERSHIPS

PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN:

University Medical Centre (UKE) Hamburg, Division of Tropical Medicine / Germany

&

Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Kumasi / Ghana

Tackling antimicrobial resistance in Africa – a global problem of unknown dimensions

Bacteria and other germs adapt when they are exposed to anti-microbial treatments such as antibiotics. This results in resistance against the substances used and medications lose their effect. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) can render it impossible to treat common infections and leads to substantially increased healthcare costs, prolonged treatment, disability and death. AMR is a global problem and thus needs to be tackled globally. It exists in every country.

MORE ABOUT GHANA

  • Ghana is situated in West Africa and has a population of 25.5 million people living on an area of 128,533 sq km.
  • Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence, in 1957.
  • Ghana was ranked as Africa’s most peaceful country in 2020 by the Global Peace Index.
  • The country produces the second most cocoa beans in the world and is classified as a lower middle-income country (LMIC). Gold, cocoa and, more recently, oil form the cornerstone of Ghana’s economy and have helped fuel an economic boom.
  • Life expectancy at birth in Ghana is 62 (m) / 64 (f) years.
  • The probability of dying before the age of five was at 48 for 1,000 live births in 2018.

 

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The main causes of this development are the overuse of antimicrobial medicine – especially in agriculture and animal farming – and unnecessary prescriptions for patients. Inappropriate use, wrong dosage, and lack of knowledge by medical doctors and patients alike aggravate the problem. A contributing factor is non-targeted antibiotic therapy in absence of microbiological results. The extent of AMR in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is largely unknown, mainly because relevant data are missing.

This is also the situation in Ghana, which is facing the continuous development of antibiotic resistance against available antibiotics. And, as in many LMIC, the extent of the problem is unknown for lack of data.

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Because of limited microbiological infrastructure in most parts of the country, the resistant bacteria have not been identified. Authorities also do not know which medicine is still effective. Only this information can allow medical professionals to choose the right antibiotic and the government to develop national treatment guidelines.

The government of Ghana has recognised the need for improving this situation.

Based on this national as well as existing international commitment, the two partnering universities have decided to tackle this important public health issue and join the global efforts to stop further development of antimicrobial resistance.

Joint efforts include the establishment of a data collection system, a surveillance system, the training of laboratory personnel to identify bacteria causing clinically relevant infections and possible resistance against the available antibiotics, and training of medical doctors to handle antibiotic treatment responsibly and based on the information available. The partnership is also supporting the Ghanaian government in the development of standard treatment guidelines based on the data collected.

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eHEALTH

Our eHealth Contribution

One important problem identified is inadequate communication between the medical doctors caring for patients and the laboratories performing the required analyses. The requests for testing are paper-based and frequently get lost with the respective specimens on their way to the laboratories, or are severely delayed. The same applies to test results: These often reach the doctor late or never, making it impossible to base clinical decisions on them.

Therefore, the partnership decided to use an innovative approach and develop together with IT specialists an app-based system for communication between the laboratory and medical doctors. This will ensure timely delivery of the request and of the test result as well as the collection of valid data for subsequent analyses and the development of local evidence-based guidelines.

All tools developed consist of free and open-source software which has been adapted in teamwork with neighbouring African regions. Six HKP-supported partnerships collaborate closely because they use the same approach. This collaboration calls itself the COMBAT AMR network.

The COMBAT AMR network enables comparing and sharing as well as joint discussions on data, exchange of experiences and discussions on possible solutions. The network develops regional recommendations on AMR, and it creates substantial synergies.

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PARTNERSHIPS

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University Medical Centre (UKE) Hamburg, Division of Tropical Medicine / Germany

The Division of Tropical Medicine, within the UKE’s International Department of Medicine is one of the largest departments for tropical medicine in Germany. This Division has been partnering with KATH under the University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa during the previous funding periods for over a decade.

For the present collaboration, the Division of Tropical Medicine is partnering with several other university-level structures, such as the Institute for Medical Microbiology and Virology and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) in Hamburg.

Contact:

Dr. med. Christof Vinnemeier
Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)
I. Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik
Sektion Tropenmedizin
Martinistraße 52
20246 Hamburg
+49 40-42818-367
c.vinnemeier@uke.de

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Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Kumasi / Ghana

The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is the second largest hospital in Ghana with a total bed capacity of 1,200. For the Ashanti region, KATH is the only tertiary health facility. KATH is involved in the training of medical students, junior doctors and nurses, and provides well-equipped medical and laboratory facilities.


The geographical location of KATH, Ghana’s well-developed road network, and the commercial nature of Kumasi make KATH accessible to all the areas that share boundaries with the Ashanti Region and other regions farther away.

Contact:

Dr. Alex K Owusu-Ofori, MD, PhD
Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH)
Department of Clinical Microbiology
Head of Department
P.O. Box 1934
+233 209149370
owusu_ofori@hotmail.com

MORE INFORMATION

ABOUT

University Medical Centre (UKE) Hamburg, Division of Tropical Medicine / Germany

The Division of Tropical Medicine, within the UKE’s International Department of Medicine is one of the largest departments for tropical medicine in Germany. This Division has been partnering with KATH under the University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa during the previous funding periods for over a decade.

For the present collaboration, the Division of Tropical Medicine is partnering with several other university-level structures, such as the Institute for Medical Microbiology and Virology and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) in Hamburg.

Contact:

Dr. med. Christof Vinnemeier
Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE)
I. Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik
Sektion Tropenmedizin
Martinistraße 52
20246 Hamburg
+49 40-42818-367
c.vinnemeier@uke.de

Unknown 2

Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Kumasi / Ghana

The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is the second largest hospital in Ghana with a total bed capacity of 1,200. For the Ashanti region, KATH is the only tertiary health facility. KATH is involved in the training of medical students, junior doctors and nurses, and provides well-equipped medical and laboratory facilities.

The geographical location of KATH, Ghana’s well-developed road network, and the commercial nature of Kumasi make KATH accessible to all the areas that share boundaries with the Ashanti Region and other regions farther away.

Contact:

Dr. Alex K Owusu-Ofori, MD, PhD
Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH)
Department of Clinical Microbiology
Head of Department
P.O. Box 1934
+233 209149370
owusu_ofori@hotmail.com

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AMR Network
AMR NETWORK

Asella, Ethiopia – Düsseldorf

Jimma, Ethiopia – Munich

Butare, Rwanda – Berlin

Nairobi, KenYa – Frankfurt

Kampala, Uganda – Leipzig

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