World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) 2021.
Our Activities during the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2021 Activities
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is celebrated from 18-24 November every year. The objective is usually to raise awareness on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), a surging pandemic. Antimicrobial Resistance is a phenomenon where drugs are no longer effective in treating certain infections. This is mainly brought about by the irrational use of antimicrobials in humans, animals, and the environment. The 2021 theme was, Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance which called on all One Health stakeholders, healthcare providers, policymakers, and general public to be Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) champions.
This year (2021), we undertook various activities during the week in collaboration with different partners to raise awareness and promote increased engagement on the work on Antimicrobial Resistance.
Some of these initiatives included:
1: Supporting the Government of Kenya in the national AMR activities such as the National Hybrid Symposium and High-level Launch
We engaged and supported the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week National Committee in Kenya on planning and implementing activities during the week by providing guidance and advice on some of the feasible students and outreach activities that could be carried out. Our Head of Programs, Daniel Waruingi was part of the Nation Committee. Our Project Management lead, Ms. Wanjiru Mwangi also gave a case study presentation and share learnings on an AMR outreach activity she had conducted in the urban informal settlements area of Kibera during the National Hybrid Symposium and High-Level launch held on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th November 2021.
Figure 1: Ms. Wanjiru Mwangi presenting during the WAAW National Hybrid Symposium and High Level launch
Figure 2: Students from Moi University Kenya, performing an AMR Entertainment skit during the National Symposium and High-Level Launch
2: Providing catalytic support to students engaged in our AMR Leaders Program for Tertiary Students in Africa (a collaborative project with ReAct Africa)
As part of the activities of the AMR Leaders Program for Tertiary students in Africa we also provided technical guidance and shared some of our available resources with students in the program to enable them implement their World Antimicrobial Activities in an effective way.
You can watch the video below to see some of the amazing work conducted by the students during the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2021
3: Supporting students from University of Nairobi in organizing an AMR sensitization walk across Nairobi City.
We supported One Health Students Club, University of Nairobi and Nairobi University Pharmacy Students Association in organizing an AMR Awareness Walk to raise awareness on the burden of antimicrobial resistance in Kenya and rational use of antimicrobials among the general public. The walk took place on Friday, the 19h of November, 2021, within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area.
Walks are an effective way of raising awareness and triggering the general public’s attention and other stakeholders on the pertinent issues affecting society. Antimicrobial Resistance is a massive burden in Kenya, which has been accelerated by the irrational use of antibiotics such as azithromycin during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, walks help those participating in the activity realize the sensitivity and importance of the issue they are advocating for. In this case, students are essential stakeholders in the fight against Antimicrobial Resistance. They are the future prescribers, policymakers, and scientists who have not yet become complacent to some harmful conventional practices—as such, supporting their activities and initiatives would be a sustainable investment.
The objectives of the walk were:
- Raising awareness about Antimicrobial Resistance to the general public.
- Sharing information in an understandable way on rational use of antibiotics and how the public may take the initiative in safeguarding antibiotics within their small ways.
- Increasing visibility of the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week among the general public and increasing media attention to the scourge of Antimicrobial Resistance.
- Sensitizing students about AMR through practical engagements and motivating them to take initiative in other ways.
- The walk promoted improved awareness on AMR among the general public residing in Nairobi and environments
- The public was informed more the importance of rational use of antibiotics, and this is expected to trigger positive behavioral change practices and encourage them to take action.
- The activity helped students within the university to own the problem of AMR and visualize it as a responsibility triggering them to take initiative and promoting sustainable engagement in the fight against AMR
4: Presenting about our work in the WAAW 2021 AMRelay organized by AMR Insights.
We also had the opportunity of presenting some of the work and lesson learnt in some of the projects we had been implementing in the AMRelay event organized by AMR Insights Ambassador Network. This event was held on the 24th of November 2021.
AMR Relay was a 24-hour online event meant to connect global stakeholders In AMR. The event had a series of 96 consecutive and catchy contributions by different global stakeholders on the actions that they had been taking to curb Antimicrobial Resistance.
The objectives of AMRelay include:
- To increase awareness on AMR in all countries passing by
- To profile global stakeholders involved in curbing AMR
- To inspire and encourage organizations to further join forces to combat AMR
You can learn more about AMRelay here and learn more about some of our 2021 activities in the presentation attached.