The Antibiotic Stewardship and Prevention of Infection in Communities (ASPIC) is an initiative from ReAct Asia Pacific which launched in 2018. The initiative was established to mobilize students on the issue of antibiotic resistance. The ASPIC network functions in different universities and colleges, working through student clubs.
In 2023, ReAct Asia Pacific launched the Youth Leadership Programme on AMR. The primary aim of the program is to engage students and youth from diverse academic backgrounds (pure and applied sciences, medical and dental, pharmacy and paramedical, etc.) to be the agents of change for AMR.
As a part of this programme, a workshop was held in Vellore, Tamil Nadu on the 31st July 2023, titled a “Dialogue meeting: Youth Leadership Program on AMR”. The workshop allowed students to listen to and interact with speakers from both medical, veterinary, environmental, and advocacy backgrounds. For this, students were asked to submit posters on multiple themes such as:
- Infection prevention and control (IPC)
- Antimicrobial stewardship
- One-health approach
- Antibiotic use in the livestock sector
- Alternatives to antibiotics in the animal health sector
- The role of different stakeholders such as pharmacists, media, etc.
Other themes, such as gender and climate change, were also included. The selected teams from the poster competition attended a one-day training workshop at Vellore, Tamil Nadu.The shortlisted participants presented their posters and potential project ideas were discussed with a panel of experts and resource persons.
Following the completion of the workshop, the participants were provided a month’s time to complete and submit their proposed mini-projects on AMR.
The projects ranged from community awareness programs on AMR to lab-based studies. Through this, the participants were expected to promote awareness among school students, health workers, and farmers by using videos, posters, and infographics as communication material.
At the end of the mini-project phase, an international jury was constituted to evaluate the student progress, wherein students gave online presentations about their respective projects.
The students reached out to different target populations using awareness programs and social media sensitization on the issue of AMR and the need to use antibiotics with caution. The projects included audiovisual aids for shopkeepers selling farm products, social media campaigns, poster competitions, hygiene campaigns, surveys, brochures, comics, interventions among pharmacy staff, outreach programs, leaflets, infographics, community sensitization and awareness campaigns among students.
Various campaigns and awareness programs implemented by the project teams as part of the
The Youth Leadership Program on AMR, allowed participants to understand the various dimensions of AMR and how it affects different sectors.
The projects carried out by the teams addressed various issues related to AMR in these sectors. Each one of the teams focused on a particular set of target populations ranging from community health workers to farmers and pharmacists. The results provided a range of interesting interventions to be adopted. The teams took the role of Youth Leaders in addressing the issue of AMR at the grassroots level through innovative approaches.
Reflections from Dr. Jaya Ranjalkar:
“The program was a great experience for us as well since we could experience the immense energy, diverse thoughts, and ideas the young generation has. The team spirit and wide reach of the projects clearly show that students acknowledged the fact that AMR is an issue that concerns the whole of society, and hence, collective action is needed to tackle it. I hope that the students will keep AMR as one of their priorities and areas of interest throughout their lives and continue to be champions of AMR in their respective communities.” – Dr. Jaya Ranjalkar, Interim Director of ReAct Asia Pacific (RAP).
Details of the teams:
- Abhay Mahesh Baadkar, Aabha Unni KV & Navaneeth K, Yuvarajas College, University of Mysore, Mysuru
Eeshha Pawaskar & Gaurihar Kalokhe, Prakash Institute Of Medical Sciences And Research -Sangli, Maharashtra.
- Dr Avelyn Kishore & Dr Aju Varghese, Jubilee Mission Medical College and Research Institute, Thrissur, Kerala, India.
- Anjitha Joy, Anu Francis, Manju Sara Sabu, Obed S George, Joel P Emmanuel & Sachin Raj V, St. Berchmans College, Chagnacherry, Kerala.
More from "2023"
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- ReAct highlights World AMR Awareness Week 2023
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