News and Opinions  –  2019

10 Innovate4AMR-winning teams enjoyed 3-day workshop in Geneva

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2019-11-24

In its second year, Innovate4AMR has gained widespread interest from both students and professionals working in the field. Through the summer of 2019, Innovate4AMR called for student teams from all around the world for their solutions on Antimicrobial Stewardship in resource-limited settings. In the midst of World Antibiotic Awareness Week the 10 winning teams for across the globe enjoyed a 3-day capacity building workshop in Geneva, Switzerland.

Group-photo-of-the-10-winning-teams-of-Innovate4AMR
All the 10 winning teams of Innovate4AMR at the capacity buildning workshop in Geneva, Switzerland. Here with Hanan Balkhy, Assistant Director-General, AMR, WHO. Photo:Innovate4AMR.

Through the summer of 2019, the organizers had called for student teams from all around the world for their solutions on Antimicrobial Stewardship in resource-limited settings, with a video from WHO’s Assistant Director General, Dr Hanan Balkhy also encouraging students to apply.

Since Innovate4AMR’s inception at last year’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week workshop, I have strongly advocated that students bring their fresh perspective to drive action on antimicrobial resistance. Innovative solutions are what we need. Beyond this workshop, I hope to see these winning teams implementing their projects across the world and changing how we approach AMR globally,

says Dr Marc Sprenger, Director of Surveillance, Prevention and Control, WHO’s AMR Division.

163 submissions from 40 countries

With more than 1250 young health advocates signed up for the competition, Innovate4AMR received 163 submissions from teams in over 40 countries. After several rounds of judging, first by an IFMSA-ReAct-WHO Technical Review Panel and then by a panel of International Expert Judges, the following 10 winning teams were selected to participate at the capacity-building workshop in Geneva supported by the World Health Organization and South Centre:

amRx (Hong Kong)

Team amRx from Honkong is aiming to serve a decision-support tool for evidence-based prescription of antibiotics where existing guidelines are non-existent, lacking or maladaptive.

Batibot (The Philippines)

Team Batibot from Philippines will use short text messages SMS as a tool to educate patients on antimicrobial resistance and increase their adherence to antibiotic regimen.

Blue Eagles (The Philippines)

Team Blue Eagles from Philippines are aiming to tackle resistant Gonorrhea by creating a mobile application for monitoring and surveillance of its pharmacological therapy.

C² (Australia)

Team C² from Australia’s solution focusing on tackling skin and soft tissue infections in rural and remote communities of Australia.

PharmLinks (Tanzania)

Team Pharmlinks from Tanzania aims to create a pharmaceutical supply chain platform to allow monitoring the trends of medicine flows nationally.

AS (Indonesia)

Team AS from Indonesia is planning to run a social media account that provides information, stories and tips regarding antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance to inform and educate Indonesian youth.

pill-Alert (South Africa)

Team pill-Alert from South Africa have designed an innovative approach using cell-phone based technology to send automated alerts via text messages (SMS) to remind patients to take their medication on time. This mobile health (mHealth) intervention seeks to improve patient compliance to treatment, thereby significantly reducing antimicrobial resistance.

SAVE – System for Antibiotic Vigilance and Equity (India, Sri Lanka, China)

Team SAVE is planning to use WeChat App to monitor and catalogue antibiotic usage across China.

SNARE (Indonesia)

Team SNARE is aiming to improve access and equity on AMR education by involving students to execute educational programs in local communities.

The “ART-IPA” Initative (Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France)

Team ART-IPA is aiming to reduce inappropriate antimicrobial prescriptions in Indian Primary health centers using Art for patient and doctors education.

Presented proposals to Expert Review Panel

Students from these teams had the opportunity to present their proposals at the capacity-building workshop during World Antibiotic Awareness Week to an Expert

Saad Uakkas, Liaison Officer, IFMSA. Photo: ReAct North America.

Review Panel, including Karen Mah, Elizabeth Long, Kwame Boaitley, Dr Stephen Nurse-Findlay, Dr Barbara Tornimbene, and Dr Anand Balachandran.

“As medical students and future healthcare providers, IFMSA is extremely concerned about AMR, and considers it as one of its main global priorities. Today with Innovate4AMR we aim to give the chance to youth to step up and bring their ideas and solutions to the world, to empower and assist them with tools, knowledge and expertise so that they can create and apply innovative solutions in their countries and be today’s AMR champions and changemakers.”

said Saad Uakkas, Liaison Officer to Student Organizations of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations.

Knowledge from workshop to help implement projects

The students enjoyed a various set of presentations and discussions. Photo:ReAct North America

During the event, students attended seminars and workshops on AMR, discussed with experts how to make strategic improvements to their innovation, and recieved feedback on how best to operationalize their project. The aim is that after returning to their home countries, the teams will be equipped with the knowledge to implement their projects.

“We hope to motivate, engage and enlist the next generation of leaders in healthcare to  develop innovative, scalable approaches that address antimicrobial resistance and inquitable access to antimicrobials,”

says Anthony So, MD, MPA, Director, ReAct Strategic Policy Program and IDEA (Innovation+Design Enabling Access) Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

For more information about Innovate4AMR please contact Prateek Sharma, ReAct North America.

Innovate4AMR was organized by: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), South Centre and ReAct. With support from the World Health Organization.

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