Having a Ph.D. was a dream for me and it was yet to be fulfilled after my MPhil studies. This was enkindled by my interaction with Professor Azmi Hassali who came to Pakistan for a conference. During our discussions, he shared the idea of ‘Point Prevalence Survey’ on which he was already working on in collaboration with Professor Brian Goodman from the University of Strathclyde of the UK.

He also suggested that I should contact the Global-PPS team from the University of Antwerp, Belgium; and they guided me through the Global-PPS tool. The Global-PPS tool completely revolutionized my Ph.D. research as it proved a touchstone to help monitor rates of antimicrobial prescribing and resistance in resource limited settings. The online software-based tool is extremely user-friendly and can be interpreted very easily. It can also be used to correlate antimicrobial prescribing patterns between different regions of the world in limited time simply by performing data entry of the observed results. The results highlighted that there is considerable cause for concern in the current use of antibiotics in hospitals in Pakistan. Stewardship efforts, in particular, should be focused on the use of ceftriaxone, especially any prophylactic use, the length of prophylaxis and the reasons for antibiotic use in the first place. In addition, the rapid conversion to oral antibiotics should be implemented where pertinent. Global-PPS proved to be a useful tool to quantify antimicrobial use and provides a robust baseline. Based on our findings, we have published a number of research papers in reputable peer reviewed journals (See here). Our work is also acknowledged by Ministry of Health and regional office of World Health Organization, Pakistan as a part of National Action Plan of Pakistan on AMR.

Dr. Zikria Saleem