News and Opinions  –  2016

World Antibiotic Awareness Week: ReAct Africa is raising awareness among the general public

2016-11-19

Articles in national newspapers, quiz for students, televisions shows, hospital visits, stickers on public vehicles and getting the new Antimicrobial Policy receive government accent are some of ReAct Africa's activities during World Antibiotic Awareness week.

A mother with her children. Children are becoming ever more vulnerable as bacteria become resistant to drugs.
A mother with her children. Children are becoming ever more vulnerable as bacteria become resistant to drugs.

“As a mother with little children, I have, on many occasions, woken up in the middle of the night to find that my child has a terrible cough, a high temperature, or a running stomach, and possibly vomiting.”

“It is a common practice for me to reach out for my stocked “home pharmacy” and self-dispense paracetamol, cold cap and/or antibiotic syrups or tablets to the child. …”. Read the full article here (PDF, 1MB).

In Uganda our ReAct Africa champions under supervision of Dr. Denis Byarugaba have published already two articles in national news papers to raise awareness on antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance quiz for students

Zimbabwe is even taking it to a higher level. Besides publications in newspapers staff from the Zimbabwean Association of Church-related Hospitals (ZACH) has been interviewed for television shows and radio programs. Our champion Dr. Nzou even got antibiotic resistance as a news item in the daily radio news.

Six students in Africa during their quiz for fellow studentsWhile ZACH was preparing all their activities, students from Harare campus requested their support to raise awareness, not only to the general public, but also among their fellow students. They organized a well-visited quiz night which was even attended by the Dean of Colleges of Health Sciences, who reached out certificates to the winner. Further the students managed to get into the morning news on television, coached by champions from ZACH.

Stickers on public transport vehicles

In Kenya the champions decided to go out on the streets and in the hospitals to meet the general public. They visited the largest public hospital of Kenya, Kenyetta Hospital in Nairobi, where they shared ReAct material to the patients and health workers. Resistance happened to be unknown to most of the people, and the relation between animal and human health received interest, as it made people aware that even when they handle with care, the butcher they buy from might not. The ABR comic strips (PDF, 14MB), translated in the local language Swahili but also available in English, were received well.

All ReAct Africa materials are freely downloadable here.

A group of students went out on the streets to put up stickers in the public transport vehicles, so called matatus. They also provided the news paper sellers with stickers who distributed the stickers with the newspapers to passing traffic.

Getting the new Antimicrobial Policy receive government accent

In Ghana they had a different agenda. All their efforts have been concentrated on getting the new Antimicrobial Policy in the ”one health” concept receive government accent. To this they had a wider stakeholder engagement with all the relevant Ministries and Ministers and agencies, and on a wider antimicrobial resistance platform involving professionals from human, animal, plant and the environment. This was made possible with the support of World Health Organization Ghana office, Food and Agriculture Organization, Ministry of Health, under the leadership of ReAct Champion Martha Gyansa-Lutterodt; Chair of the Antimicrobial Resistance platform.

17 November, 2016.