The Asia Pacific region, where a majority of the world’s population lives, has been the center of global economic growth for the last two decades lifting millions out of poverty. On the health front however, the region continues to be affected by a very high burden of both non-communicable and infectious diseases, making it a hotspot for increasing antibiotic resistance.
For ReAct, the Asia Pacific has been a major focus of activities right from its inception. Starting in 2006, with just a few contacts in a couple of countries, the ReAct network in the region today has spread widely involving a wide variety of individuals and institutions tackling the problem of antibiotic resistance.
Participants at a rally to raise public awareness about antibiotic resistance in Jakarta. The rally was organized in a busy thoroughfare of the Indonesian capital by ReAct partner Yayasan Orangtua Peduli (YOP), which has been championing rational use of medicine in the country through a variety of outreach activities, including public events, use of social media and training programmes.
Leveraging knowledge of the region and close links of ReAct members with key health activists ReAct Asia Pacific has mobilized a significant range of champions trying to transform national level policies and implement community outreach programs on antibiotic resistance. ReAct’s partners and associates work on the issue in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Timor Leste, Thailand, the Philippines and India.
Apart from its active networking, another reason for ReAct Asia Pacific’s success in the region has been its ability to offer a global and more holistic perspective on the issue of antibiotic resistance. A few of the themes ReAct Asia Pacific has emphazised are:
- the need for an ecological approach
- emphasis on prevention and public awareness
- the paradigm shift taking place in knowledge of microbial behaviour.
A “Gardening for Health’ kit”, to educate the public on antibiotic resistance, prevention of infectious diseases, nutrition, food safety and medicine was launched in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 19th November 2015 as part of the Global Antibiotic Awareness Week activities.
The launch was an exhibition set up at the Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. The kit, consisting of simple gardening tools and manuals on gardening and illustrated booklets on nutrition, health and medicine was released by Dr Niyada Kiatying-Angsulee of the Drug Systems Monitoring and Development Center (DMDC). Dozens of health professionals, took part in the release ceremony, which included a workshop on growing organic food for self-consumption at home.
ReAct Asia Pacific’s approach in the region has also been to emphazise the importance of connecting stakeholders at different societal levels and across national borders, while recognizing the importance of national policies and local medical interventions. One of the key activities undertaken by ReAct Asia Pacific over the years for example has been to help disseminate successful best practices in tackling antibiotic resistance within the region through documentation, facilitating study tours and organizing regional workshops.
Being a global organization ReAct’s activities in the region also bring inputs from around the world in the form of the latest scientific evidence through its Toolbox facility, technological and medical innovation and high-level international efforts to frame appropriate policies in the response to antibiotic resistance.
ReAct Asia Pacific’s long term strategy in the region includes the following activities:
- Assisting in the implementation of the WHO’s GAP and development of National Action Plans.
- Developing networks with both state and civil society organisations working on ABR.
- Identifying, documenting and disseminating best practices on antibiotic resistance.
As part of this effort ReAct Asia Pacific has been working on producing country situation analysis that views antibiotic resistance from a multi-sectoral perspective and offers suggestions for action based on experiences from a variety of interventions tested in other health sectors.
Contact ReAct Asia Pacific
Please, do not hesitate to contact ReAct Asia Pacific if you have further questions, need help or would like to cooperate.
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