AMR Industry Alliance Awards South Africa’s NeoAMS Program the 2023 AMR Stewardship Prize
NeoAMS program targets inappropriate antibiotic use among hospitalized newborns.
Geneva – 7 December 2023 – The AMR Industry Alliance, the largest coalition of life sciences companies dedicated to combatting antimicrobial resistance (AMR), today announced that South Africa’s NeoAMS Program won its 2023 Stewardship Prize. The Stewardship Prize acknowledges local programs’ innovative approaches to AMR stewardship and appropriate use of antibiotics within their communities, with a monetary grant intended to help scale their approach.
“We are thrilled to be the recipients of the AMR Industry Alliance Stewardship Prize, which will help us to grow the NeoAMS program and accelerate efforts to optimize use of antibiotics in hospitalized newborns,” said Prof. Angela Dramowski; Head of Clinical Unit, General Paediatrics, Tygerberg Hospital; and Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Stellenbosch University.
The neonatal period is the most vulnerable period in the life of a child. Within South Africa, the risk of neonatal sepsis and AMR infections is high. Hospitals have responded by increasing their use of potent antibiotics in treatment, potentially contributing to the development of AMR.
Launched in 2022, the NeoAMS program trains local clinicians on neonatal antibiotic stewardship (AMS) best practices by assembling neonatal AMS teams, facilitating interactive online AMS training, and supporting audit and feedback on antibiotic prescriptions for hospitalized neonates. The program encourages regular interaction between site teams, including pharmacists, neonatologists, microbiologists, and neonatal unit nurses. A first of its kind program in South Africa, NeoAMS has already decreased overall antibiotic length of therapy by 22 percent in the participating neonatal units.
“AMR stewardship programs are important guardians of our health – protecting lives by ensuring antibiotics are used in the right way. With the Stewardship Prize Initiative, we aim to recognize established, innovative approaches to AMR stewardship in low- and middle-income countries,” said James Anderson, AMR Industry Alliance Board Chair. “We’re so pleased to help the NeoAMS program scale its program and equip South African clinicians with the tools to harmonize expertise, mitigate unnecessary antimicrobial use, and script a healthier future for the next generation.”
With the AMR Industry Alliance Stewardship Prize grant, the program will be able to roll out tech-enabled data collection through mobile apps, create a database on AMS recommendations, create training aids, spread awareness of the program, and scale the program to work more closely with pharmacists, among other activities.
About the AMR Industry Alliance
The AMR Industry Alliance is a coalition of over 100 biotechnology, diagnostic, generics and research-based biopharmaceutical companies and trade associations that was formed to drive and measure industry progress to curb antimicrobial resistance. As the largest life-sciences coalition of its kind, the Alliance aims to provide sustainable solutions in the fight against AMR through broad industry momentum, public-private collaboration and multi-sectoral action.