ReAct Africa and LifeArc announce launch of ASPIRE initiative to combat antimicrobial resistance in Zambia and Kenya

ReAct (Action on Antibiotic Resistance) Africa, in partnership with self-funded medical research organisation and charity LifeArc, is excited to introduce a pioneering effort to combat Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) with the launch of “ASPIRE” the Antibiotic Stewardship Programme through Innovation, Research, and Education. This ambitious US$1.5M 3-year project aims to transform how antibiotics are used in Zambia and Kenya by integrating innovative digital solutions with targeted interventions, in an effort to make long term policy and practice improvements.

Antimicrobial resistance is an urgent global health threat. The World Health Organisation estimates that there are 4.95 million deaths worldwide each year due to AMR. Without intervention, the United Nations has warned that this could increase to 10 million by 2050. The ASPIRE initiative focuses on empowering healthcare professionals to make robust decisions on antibiotic prescriptions, ensuring that they are only used if there is likely to be a clear benefit. By doing so, the project aims to improve patient care and reduce antimicrobial resistance. With the support of LifeArc, ReAct Africa is committed to pioneering sustainable solutions that will set new benchmarks for antibiotic stewardship in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The innovative approach of ASPIRE includes targeted research into current antibiotic prescribing practices and outcomes, cutting-edge digital tools and solutions, comprehensive clinician and patient education, collaborative engagement, and strategic partnerships. Through these efforts, ASPIRE aspires to establish a sustainable model for antibiotic stewardship that could be replicated across LMICs, marking a significant step in the battle against antimicrobial resistance.

Speaking about the launch, Dr. Mirfin Mpundu Executive Director of ReAct Africa expressed enthusiasm, saying, “ASPIRE represents an important step forward in our collective efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance. By integrating digital innovation with targeted interventions, we aim to facilitate a transformative change in how antibiotics are used and managed in these regions.”

Dr Mike Strange, Head of Global Health at LifeArc says: “Antimicrobial resistance is a truly global challenge and we need to work together across continents to drive real change. LifeArc is committed to addressing unmet medical needs and we know that antimicrobial resistance disproportionately affects people in low- and middle- income countries. Partnering with ReAct Africa on this important project will not only provide important data to inform development of improved practices in participating hospitals, but also have the potential to create a model which could be used more widely, including in other countries.”