News and Opinions  –  2024

ReAct Latin America shines spotlight on antibiotic resistance at People's Health Assembly

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2024-04-25

Mid-April, in a series of powerful and thought-provoking events at the People's Health Assembly in Argentina, ReAct Latin America successfully brought the critical issue of antibiotic resistance to the forefront, emphasizing the need for a multi-sectoral approach to address this global health threat.

“Come, arrive. Let us join our voices!

One of the highlights of ReAct Latin America’s activities at the assembly was a captivating performance of a Murga, a popular form of musical theatre in Argentina. The Murga singers delivered a compelling message about the importance of healthy, antibiotic-free food, underlining the necessity of diverse societal engagement in tackling antibiotic resistance. As one performer put it, “Without art, there is no health.”

Panelists at the session on “Bodies and Territories”

Launch of Call for Global Action: Speakers from various backgrounds

The launch of the Call for Global Action on antimicrobial resistance featured speakers from various backgrounds, including Silvana Figar, an epidemiologist at the Italian Hospital of Argentina; Alexis Zapata, an Ecuadorian music composer and professor; Roman Vega, the global coordinator of the People’s Health Movement; and Damian Verzenassi, a medical doctor and director of the Institute of Socio-Environmental Health at the National University of Rosario, Argentina. The speakers emphasized the need to view antimicrobial resistance as a complex global health issue requiring a transformation in the relationship between humans, nature, and bacteria.

Participants at one of the RLA workshops at the People’s Health Assembly

Reaching out through workshops

Workshops played a significant role in ReAct Latin America’s efforts to raise awareness and promote dialogue. Silvina Alessio, the education coordinator of ReAct Latin America, along with Raquel from the Planetary Studies Group of Brazil and Alejandra, a teacher at the School of Medicine of the University of Mar del Plata, led a workshop attended by more than 100 teachers. Another workshop, “Body and Territory,” conducted by the Institute of Social and Environmental Health, explored the strong connection between the health of our bodies and the health of our territories and environment. Participants discussed destructive processes affecting their communities, such as intensive animal production and antibiotic residues in the environment.

Promoting the global campaign, ‘From People to Leaders. Act on AMR Now!’.

Plan to organize similar events

Looking ahead, ReAct Latin America plans to organise similar events in other locations. One of these is a side event planned at the upcoming G20 meeting in Brazil, in collaboration with World Animal Protection, the Instituto de Defesa do Consumidor do Brasil (IDEC Brazil), and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). ReAct Latin America is also seeking the cooperation of the People’s Health Movement in India, which has experience in organizing side events at G20 meetings.

Future plans

To further disseminate their message, ReAct Latin America is engaging with various organizations, inviting them to sign the Global Call for Action on AMR, provide comments, and share short statements. These statements will be spread through ReAct Latin America’s communication channels and those of partner organizations, with the aim of disseminating the Global Call and the reasons why organizations are joining and signing it.

As ReAct Latin America continues its vital work, the events at the People’s Health Assembly serve as a powerful reminder of the urgent need for collaborative action to address the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. Through art, education, and advocacy, ReAct Latin America hopes to pave the way for a healthier, more sustainable future.