14. March 2024

Ensuring Successful Implementation and Scale-up of the ICARS-Supported Projects in Georgia

Dr Robert Skov, Dr Gloria Cordoba and Dr Mabel De Leo from the ICARS Science Team visited Georgia to meet two of the ICARS-supported project teams and engage with national stakeholders. During high-level discussions, interest in the scale-up of the SAP project and political commitment were expressed in light of the project’s promising initial results. Their visit to Georgia also provided an opportunity to meet the MALDI-TOF project team and follow up on the project’s progression. 

The visit commenced with high-level meetings attended by key stakeholders from the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons, Health, Labour, and Social Affairs of Georgia, the scientific director of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) Georgia, and the president of the Surgeon’s Association, discussing the sustainability and scale-up of ongoing projects. The Ministry of Health and NCDC expressed interest in utilising SAP project results to understand regulatory gaps surrounding the use of antimicrobials. Furthermore, a commitment to include a quality indicator for compliance with SAP guidelines in NAP 2.0 was articulated, emphasising a dedication to stringent standards. 

An integral part of the visit was an insightful focus group discussion wherein surgeons, hospital managers, nurses, and epidemiologists actively participated. The session uncovered nuanced perspectives on barriers and facilitators within the SAP project, with 16 representatives from 10 participating hospitals contributing to the discussion. 

In-depth deliberations conducted over the days of meetings, delving into the results of specific work packages within the SAP project. The initial results show that seven out of ten hospitals have completed the implementation process and compliance to the guidelines was over the expected 60%. Additional successes and challenges were meticulously discussed, culminating in consensus on new tasks and deadlines to prepare for the project’s closure. 

Beyond the SAP project, the ICARS team explored the facilities of Geo Hospital. This field visit provided valuable insights into the microbiology laboratory and the Lugar Center, where the MALDITOF device is being tested.  

The trip provided great opportunities for strengthening the collaboration with the Georgian project teams and government, ensuring the successful implementation and scale-up of solutions to mitigate AMR in the country.