News and Opinions  –  2016

World Antibiotic Awareness Week: ReAct Africa holds policy meeting

2016-11-16

The World Antibiotic Awareness Week is currently ongoing. ReAct Africa is supporting her champions to raise awareness on antibiotic resistance in several sub-Saharan Africa countries. In this article we highlight two activities from Kenya and Zimbabwe.

 

Handle antibiotics with care.
Handle antibiotics with care.

On Monday the 14th of November ReAct Africa, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Kenya and GARP, conducted a policy meeting on antimicrobial resistance for which CSO’s and other (government) organizations had been invited. Over 50 participants from the human health, animal health, food sector, government bodies as the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fishery, researchers from universities, pharmaceutical industry and health economics came together. The diverse backgrounds of the participants represented clearly the ‘One Health Approach’.

the Ministry of Health of Kenya conducted a policy meeting on antimicrobial resistance.
The Ministry of Health of Kenya conducted a policy meeting on antimicrobial resistance.

In focus: Kenya’s National Action Plan on AMR

The participants were informed about the background, content and current status of Kenya’s National Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), of which currently a draft version is made widely available for review. Kenya’s draft National Action Plan follows the One Health Approach as guided by the World Health Organization. Round table discussions took place on what role each sector can play in taking action against antibiotic resistance.

The participants were informed about the background, content and current status of Kenya's National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance.
The participants were informed about the background, content and current status of Kenya’s National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance.

CSO’s indicated that it would be good when a curriculum would be developed for CSO’s on AMR and guidelines are provided for CSO’s on how they can take action. Most attending CSO’s had never been involved in the AMR discussion. The meeting can be called fruitful and was closed with commitments from several partners.

Media appearances in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe the Zimbabwe Association of Church-related Hospitals (ZACH) built further on the activities conducted in June on media training for journalists to raise awareness among the general public. They planned multiple appearances during shows on the television and radio, some in the local languages. Press releases were also sent out during the week. Interesting to note is that a group of students requested to be involved and they opted to organize a discussion at the university to raise awareness among students.