Monday, February 14, 2011

The International Society of Chemotherapy's African Network

APUA expert panel member and Secretary General of the International Society of Chemotherapy, Dr. Ian Gould, discusses launching of the ISC African Network.

Recently in South Africa, as Secretary General of the International Society of Chemotherapy, I was very pleased to be able to launch a new initiative- the ISC African network. The network will work in close conjunction with the ISC working group on Antibiotic Stewardship (AS) which is co-chaired by Gabriel Levy Hara (Argentina) and Jim Hutchison (Canada). It will be a working group of the Infection Prevention Control African Network (IPCAN) jointly with ISC.

The aims are to create a worldwide web-based compilation of antimicrobial stewardship efforts and activities, the people involved with them, their products and accomplishments. The website will display the collected information and promote sharing. It will be used as a platform for further Antimicrobial Stewardship Working Group initiatives. We believe that this could really help colleagues of different specialities (physicians, pharmacists, microbiologists and health care managers) in formulating and enacting AS initiatives.

Other aims of the ISC AS working group include:

  1. Performing international studies of antimicrobial consumption in all five continents.
  2. Distance learning courses to address specific and locally prevalent problems (e.g., rational management of URI, principles and experiences with antimicrobial stewardship programs, frequent problems regarding antimicrobial use in the elderly, etc).
  3. To work with pharmacists of the different countries in common aspects (regulation, educational programs) regarding use and misuse of antimicrobials.
  4. To advocate for the regulation of sales and distribution of antimicrobials worldwide.
  5. To hold meetings to highlight stewardship issues.
We are also in discussion about a first position statement to include critical tips in prescribing. ISC is in regular contact with other groups active in this area such as WHO, APUA, CDDEP and CGD as we need to join forces as much as is possible in this critical area.

I M Gould