Why these Columbus hospitals are training South African pharmacists on antibiotic resistance

South African pharmacists recently underwent training on antibiotic resistance in neonatal intensive care units thanks to a program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

South African pharmacists Azraa Paruk and Sonya Kolman visited Columbus from Aug. 4-15 to receive one-on-one mentoring and learn more about pharmacists' role in fighting infectious diseases. They will now relay what they learned to colleagues upon returning to South Africa, where clinician pharmacy is relatively new. 

The training comes in response to an antibiotic-resistant infection that killed 23 newborns at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in 2018. At the time, a clinical pharmacist from Wexner Medical Center happened to be leading a training program at the South African hospital on antibiotic resistance in adults. The hospital asked the pharmacist, Debbie Goff, PharmD, if she could organize a similar program for NICUs.

Dr. Goff partnered with colleagues at Nationwide Children's Hospital to create the OSU-South Africa "Train-the-Trainer" NICU Antibiotic Stewardship Pharmacist Mentoring Program. The program is expected to be as successful as the adult program, Dr. Goff said, which decreased the use of antibiotics by 18 percent in 47 South African hospitals.

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