Research title: Antimicrobial quality, use, access, and demand in rural Africa
My PhD focuses on investigating antibiotic quality, use, access and demand in northern Tanzanian communities. I aim to understand where patients and farmers obtain their antibiotics from and how these are prescribed, dispensed and used in people and animals. Ultimately, I am interested in how practices around health seeking and antibiotic use influence the risk of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) development and how this risk could be mitigated through tailored interventions.
Widespread issues that can potentially lead to AMR in Africa include suboptimal use of antibiotics, such as underdosing or overdosing. This can happen when patients are not sufficiently informed about when and how to use antibiotics, or when providers do not have access to adequate training or diagnostics to determine what drugs to prescribe or dispense. Substandard and counterfeit drugs, which are widespread in Africa, exacerbate these problems. I am interested in investigating the challenges health providers and users face in three study communities in Tanzania representative of different livestock-production systems: agropastoral, pastoral and rural smallholder. This will enable me to identify areas for improvement in antibiotic dispensing and use, and in access to high-quality antibiotics, and tailor interventions based on potential differences amongst the study communities. Overall, gathering this information has the potential to enhance to quality of healthcare, of which antibiotics are an essential component, while simultaneously reducing the risk of AMR.
In my research I use a One Health approach. This means I consider human, animal and environmental factors in order to find holistic solutions to the complex problem that is AMR. I deploy quantitative and qualitative methods to obtain a complete picture of local health seeking practices, challenges and possible solutions.
I am supported through a University of Glasgow/University of Edinburgh One Health joint studentship involving the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine (Tiziana Lembo) and the School of Social & Political Sciences (Alicia Davis) at the University of Glasgow, and the Roslin Institute (Adrian Muwonge) at the University of Edinburgh. The research platform in Tanzania my project builds on is funded through the Supporting the National Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance (SNAP-AMR) in Tanzania’s programme.
Areas of interest
One Health solutions to AMR, formal and informal drug provision
2020 - present: PhD “Antimicrobial quality, use, access, and demand in rural Africa”; University of Glasgow/University of Edinburgh
2016 - 2018: MSc Environmental Science; Major in Human health, Nutrition and Environment; ETH Zürich
2013 - 2016: BSc Environmental Science; ETH Zürich