Our overuse of antibiotics in humans, animals, and plants around the world is accelerating the development and spread of drug-resistant infections. Researchers estimated that AMR in bacteria caused an estimated 1.27 million deaths in 2019(1).
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has often been framed as a matter of people making ill-informed choices, culminating in the over- and irrational use of antimicrobial medicines (Leung et al. 2011, Laxminarayan et al. 2013). In fact, there are many complex factors around antibiotic use.
To respond to this situation, in tandem with OUCRU’s scientific research in the field of AMR, we conduct a range of public and community activities and projects. The aim is to raise awareness and spread the message of the appropriate use of antimicrobial medicines by involving community members in sharing their perspectives and shaping the response.
The YAAR! project brings together young people from four countries in the Global South: Kenya, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. These young people are working together with the YAAR! project team to do two things:
You can see more about the activities and the range of creative media produced by young people as part of this project here.
The YAAR! team, in collaboration with Wellcome’s Education and Drug-Resistant Infections teams, developed a learning framework. This is a resource for educators, health and research professionals, can be applicable across a diverse range of settings and learning environments, and used as a tool for structuring curricula and learning activities.
The framework can be downloaded here (full version) and here (short version, only including learning outcomes).
In contexts where it is not always possible to visit a doctor for a correct diagnosis and, if appropriate a prescription for medication, then people will go to the pharmacies to buy antibiotics by themselves. This situation is not uncommon across South and South East Asia.
To help to address the problem from the community level, OUCRU Hanoi has developed a set of multimedia materials that they have distributed within hospitals in Hanoi. The outcomes include a short explanation video for young medical students, and leaflets to distribute at the hospital. You can download the leaflet here (medical student version and patient version).
This was supported by a Seed Award grant.
Drug Resistance is a growing concern in Nepal. OUCRU Nepal’s Public and Engagement team has developed a series of events to help raise community awareness.
Among them is a singing project with the theme ‘Singing the Songs of Antibiotics’. This began with a ‘Tea Talk’ information event and finished with a singing contest. It attracted several community volunteers who will perform this catchy song in an engaging way.
For World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2022, OUCRU Nepal will also be staging other community events over the coming two months: a Doodle competition, several Tea-talk sessions with youth on drug resistance, a drug resistance movie screening, a drug resistance awareness cycle rally, and a flash mob.
Read more about Drug Resistance Engagement Activities in Nepal here.
Watch this video about research from OUCRU researchers investigating the question of the consequences for humans of widespread colistin use in backyard chicken farms in Vietnam.