18 – 24 November is World AMR Awareness Week.
At Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), we are committed to raising awareness about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the communities we work with: ‘preventing antimicrobial resistance together’1.
To fulfil our commitment, OUCRU’s Public and Community Engagement team has organised several activities and projects across our sites. The aim has been to educate and empower individuals to take action in preventing the spread of AMR by promoting responsible antibiotic use.
Our approach has always been a collaborative one, working with youth working groups, local communities, and partner organisations such as KEMRI and MORU, as well as local media partners, and local schools. These initiatives aim to document and understand the public’s perspective on antibiotics, as well as disseminate information about the proper use of antibiotics, the consequences of misuse, and the importance of infection prevention and control practices among young professionals. This is done through interactive formats such as explainer videos about complex scientific topics, comics, photo exhibitions, singing, and theatre performances.
Additionally, OUCRU actively organised or participated in public events such as Science Clubs or One Health, a science book introduction event to reach a wider audience of secondary school students. We use these opportunities to share our research findings, highlight the impact of AMR on health around the world, with an emphasis on collective action to combat this issue, especially focusing on the young population as they are the one who will shape the future and affect the next generation.
We also collaborate with schools and universities to integrate AMR awareness into their curriculum. By engaging with students and educators, our goal is to instil a sense of responsibility and knowledge about AMR from an early age. We aim to foster a future generation that understands the importance of preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics.
One important output of the Youth Against AMR! project is a learning framework2 that can be applied to different age ranges. The project team continues to work on encouraging the integration of this framework into various educational systems, both within and outside of the school system. This ensures that AMR awareness can be incorporated at any age and any level.
Through these various activities, OUCRU is dedicated to raising awareness about AMR, promoting responsible antibiotic use, and encouraging community engagement. We believe that by coming together and working towards a shared goal, we can make a significant impact in the fight against AMR and safeguard the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations.
(1) WHO World AMR Awareness Week https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-amr-awareness-week/2023
(2) Download frameworks here