Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious global health issue that is still overlooked in many parts of the world, especialy in developping countries. However, OAZIS Health is changing that narrative in Rwanda. Since 2020, through the annual World AMR Awareness Week (WAAW) campaigns and the OAZIS Antimicrobial Stewardship program, young Rwandans are raising awareness about AMR and inspiring action to contain it. “The Oazis Antimicrobial Stewardship program aims at creating a community in which antimicrobial resistance is effectively contained, controlled and mitigated by local healthcare professionals using available resources.” Said Dr. Eric Mugabo, Oazis Health, Rwanda.
One of the notable achievements of the WAAW campaigns so far is the increased visibility of danger of AMR in Rwanda using online campaigns, radio and TV talks, inter university debates and community mobilisation. Before WAAW campaings, AMR was not a common topic of discussion among young people in Rwanda according to Dr. Eric Mugabo. Student One Health Innovation Club (SOHIC) is a notable organisation that has done a campaign to increase awareness on Antimicrobial resistance in primary and high schools. However, through engagement on social media and partners mobilisation, WAAW has been able to reach a wider audience, including young people and public health organizations including Rwanda pharmaceutical Students association, Rwanda Medical Students Association, Rwanda Nursing and Midwife students association.
You can learn more about WAAW campaign in Rwanda on Twitter by searching #WAAW2021Rw for 2021 activities and WAAW2022Rw for 2022 activities
In this line of containing antimicrobial resistance, with the support from the Foundation to prevent antibiotic Resistance (PAR foundation), OAZIS Health was able to launch the OAZIS Antimicrobial stewardship program. The program aims at making Rwandan Healthcare providers antimicrobials stewards who contain AMR in their daily clinical practice using available resources. The program works by training at least an antimicrobial steward at each healthcare facility who motivate fellow health workers to preserve antimicrobials through peer to peer education during clinical staff meetings and encouraging them to take the CPD accredited Antimicrobial Stewardship course developed by OAZIS Health.
By now, 242 health care providers has taken the course, 60 % of course participants are pharmacists, 14.5 % are medical doctors, lab technicians represent 5.4 % while other professionals including nurses, public health professionals count for 20.1 %. This course expected to have more attraction with its promotion in clinical settings and other healthcare professionsl events. This program was presented in the 2023 Global Health Emerging Leaders Program that took place in Kigali where more than 100 young global health leaders learnt about AMR pledge to preserve antimicrobials. The course is available from www.oazis.rw/learn
AMR is a cross cutting global health threat and its containment requires multi-sectroal collaborations, mobilising partners to work on antimicrobial resistance is among the objectives of the OAZIS Antimicrobial Stewardship Program. The Director General of Rwanda Biomedical Center has shown his support for the program, providing valuable feedback for program improvement. Additionally, Ambassador Dr. Ron Adam, the Ambassador of Israel in Rwanda has also expressed his happiness at learning about the program and agreed to support it.
“It is a pleasure to have met Dr. Eric MUGABO from OAZIS Health. I was happy to hear about their work on empowering Rwandan healthcare providers to preserve antimicrobials. We have discussed the burden of #AntimicrobialResistance & potential collaboration to curb it in Rwanda.”
“The OAZIS Antimicrobial Stewardship Program is a unique initiative in Rwanda and we hope that the team continue to grow their network of collaborators and raise awareness about AMR even as they are proving the youth has important role to play in addressing global health challenges. Through their work, they are inspiring others to take action and ensure a healthier future for all.”, Cecilia Dahlstrom, Communications Manager, PAR
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