PRmoment Health Communications Review: The problem of antimicrobial resistance

PRmoment's weekly 'Healthcare Communications Review' column looks at the biggest healthcare trends every week and analyses the communications implications. In partnership with SPAG, A Finn Partners Company.

When Covid-19 initially hit the world, fever was a prominent symptom. Doctors advised a common tablet to deal with the pain and fever. Soon, as fever was being used as an indicator to screen people in public places people started popping anti-fever meds to evade being picked for quarantine.

In the second phase of Covid in 2021, Mucormycosis or its more common name, black fungus hit Covid patients. Studies showed that the "Use of immunosuppressants or steroids to combat Covid-19 also increases the risk to get infected with mucormycosis per the National Library of Medicine. "

A research paper by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) also said that "The inappropriate use of steroids during the second wave of the pandemic led to increased occurrence of fungal infections, or mucormycosis, in covid patients."

As November marks World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) a global healthcare event focused on preventing the emergence, and spread of antibiotic resistance; and promoting best practices among the public, health workers, and policymakers by raising awareness of the issue worldwide during the week of November 18 to November 24.

This year 2022, World Antimicrobial Awareness Week theme is “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together concluded by WHO to promote the necessity of raising awareness about working together to eradicate antimicrobial resistance and encourage a better way of using antimicrobial drugs with the slogan “Antimicrobials: Handle with Care”.

What does this mean for communicators?

1) The development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when pathogens (such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites) evolve to become immune to treatment with antimicrobials, causing drug resistance. Modern treatment is impossible without using antimicrobials, the pandemic of resistance has led to WHO labelling this as one of the top 10 dangers to global health.

PACE hospitals recommend the following community measures on their page dedicated to World AMR awareness:

  • Mandatory public and professional education towards the rational use of antibiotics are needed.
  • Regulatory control of over-the-counter use of antibiotics.
  • Optimisation of antibiotic selection as per the guideline (dosing, route of administration, and duration of therapy).
  • Prevention of infection with the use of alcohol-based hand rubs.

It also advises patients to ( and this is where communicators come in)

The patient should follow these to curb AMR:

  • Aseptic protocol for any procedures.
  • Control the spread of diseases by covering the mouth or wearing masks while coughing or sneezing, and by taking timely vaccinations.
  • Adherence to the antimicrobial regime and antibiotics.

(Source: Pace Hospital) 

In Other News

1) Decentralising clinical trials can boost research in India writes Edwin Ng, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, for Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company

Reality Check

1) Community Mobilisation Coordinator knocks on the doors of anti-vaxxers in the midst of a measles outbreak in Mumbai.

That's it for this week. Special thanks to SPAG, a FINN Partner company for their ongoing support for this weekly column.

News for the column curated by Impact Research and Measurement

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