News and Opinions  –  2016

Call to Action on AMR – A message to take home and act out

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30 Maj 2016

Almost 90 participants from 26 countries gathered at the Forum of EPN (Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network) to learn more about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and to discuss ways to collaborate. ReAct asked some of the participants what message 2009 they will take home, and what they will do to stop antimicrobial resistance in their region.

– Antibiotics have saved us and now we need to save them as well,
said Dr. Bildard Baguma, Executive Director for the Joint Medical Stores in Uganda, after the EPN-Forum meeting days.

A week ago, almost 90 participants gathered at the Forum of EPN to learn more about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and to discuss ways to collaborate. The participants came from 52 organizations out of 26 countries mostly from Africa and Europe but also from Asia and Northern America. Many of the attending organizations provide a substantial part of health care delivery in low and middle income countries.

What will you do to stop antimicrobial resistance?

After the Forum ReAct asked some of the participants what message they will take home, and what they will do to stop antimicrobial resistance in their region.

Dr. Susan Mutua – Getrudes Children Hospital, Kenya

– The message that I take home is that I can use very simple data that I never thought of to show the impact of various interventions. And these are the pharmacy consumption data. I have always relied on lab data but today I learned that pharmacy data is even more reliable, to show appropriate or inappropriate use of antibiotics.

– Immediately we can look retrospectively at the trends of how we have been using antibiotics. And look at the patterns and areas that require immediate intervention. For me it is the simplest thing to do, but very profound in term of the information we will uncover.

Dr. Bildard Baguma – Executive Director at Joint Medical Stores, Uganda

– My take home message is about the role what Drug Supply Organizations can do in addressing AMR;

> we have a role in assuring that our provision of supplies to health units is just,
> so that health units receive antibiotics they need
> and therefore use them for the right purpose,
> so that we minimize the progress of resistance.

Richard Laing – Professor at Boston University, School of Public Health, USA

– I will try to seek out opportunities to encourage faith based drug supply organizations like MEDS and JMS, to put their consumption data in the public domain so that people can look at the changing path of antibiotic use in East Africa.

Four recommended actions on AMR

The specially designated Forum day on antimicrobial resistance ended with a Call to Action (PDF).

The four recommended actions are:

  • Building Advocacy, Awareness and political will to combat antimicrobial resistance
  • Strengthening capacity of Health Systems to effectively address antimicrobial resistance
  • Ensure effective coordination between stakeholders
  • Strengthening monitoring and surveillance systems for antimicrobial resistance

Let’s join in this Call to Action (PDF) against Antibiotic Resistance and remember:

”You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”

― Mahatma Gandhi


Together we need to curb excessive use, whilst ensuring access for those in need.

REACT DOES: Together with many organisations around the world such as EPN, ReAct continues its efforts to curb excessive use of antibiotics, as well as ensure access for those in need.


EPN is a faith-based organization, with 105 members from over 30 countries. They support churches and church health systems to provide pharmaceutical services, and they believe that access to medicines is a human right. Their biannual forum, held from 19 to 21 May 2016, in Germany, intensified the participant’s focus on AMR and infectious diseases. EPN hosts ReAct Africa