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ANTIMICROBIAL STEWARSDSHIP SENSITIZATION

While it is true that consumption of antimicrobials is largely in communities, personnel in healthcare, food and agriculture have had a role to play in the selection of antimicrobial-resistant strains. This has been evidenced by the chronic use of antibiotics to treat viral infections like the common cold and the widespread administration of antimicrobials to plants and animals as growth promoting agents. Considering the interdependence between people, plants and animals and the fact we coexist in the same ecological systems, selection and spread of antimicrobial resistant strains has been more than rampant.

To mitigate this, an urgent need to preserve the efficacy of the current pool of antimicrobials is vital. At SAS-Africa, we are determined to address this through a one-health approach targeting students. Students are the future. At one point they will either be professionals in healthcare, food/agriculture or consumers of antimicrobials. These prospective practitioners therefore need capacity aimed at shaping their behavior in terms of prescribing, dispensing, administration and use of antimicrobials. This is as opposed to the current antimicrobial stewardship programs that focus only on behavior change in healthcare professionals alone. For other students not pursuing careers in healthcare we are determined to equip them with knowledge that will enable them to make informed decisions on rational antimicrobial use.

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