Antimicrobial resistance

Timor Leste World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017 activities

 World Antibiotic Awareness Week - Timor Leste

In 2017, WHO, FAO and OIE launched the World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) 13-19 November, calling for responsible use of antibiotics in humans and animals to reduce the emergence of antibiotic resistance. To respond to this call, the Ministry of Health (MOH) Timor-Leste, supported by the WHO Country Office for Timor-Leste organized series of activities to raise the awareness on rational prescribing and use of antibiotics to the public and the health care professionals across the country during the month November 2017.

Workshops/seminars on rational prescribing and use of antibiotics participated by health care professionals, medical and veterinary students .

Three consecutive workshops/seminars had been organized in November and December 2017.

On 17 November 2017, the WAAW was launched jointly by the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery (MOAF) and WHO CO in Hotel Timor, followed by a seminar to private practitioners and pharmacists from Dili Municipality. During the launch session, Dr Rajesh Pandav, WR (delivered by Dr Dongbao Yu, MO – Epidemiologist), Mrs Jonai Brites da Cruz, director of Pharmacy, MOH, and Dr Antoninho Do Karmo, Director General of Veterinary, MOAF delivered opening remarks. The following seminar was participated by about 50 private practitioners and pharmacists from Dili Municipality and was presented by Mr Jermias Da Cruz, from WHO CO, Dr Antonino Da Karmo, veterinary consultant, and Dr Nevio Sarmento, from the National Hospital. They presented the achievements and gaps of combating AMR in the country, highlighting the importance of rational prescribing and use of antibiotics by health care professionals, animal health sectors and the general public.

On 17 and 19 Nov., two other workshops have been organized to medical students and veterinary school students of five universities around Dili. Mr Jermias Da Cruz, from WHO CO, Dr Antonino Da Karmo, veterinary consultant, and Dr Nevio Sarmento, from the NHGV made the presentations on AMR, research finding about the sensitivity to antibiotics in Timor-Leste, what the public can do in fighting AMR, and answers the questions from the students.

TV talk show

On 21 November 207, MoH, MoAF and WHO CO organized a TV talk show to celebrate the WAAW in Timor Leste. Key figures from the governments departments and WHO CO were interviewed during the show, with the main objective to increase public awareness on importance of Antimicrobial Resistance from perspective of animal health and human health sectors, and call for actions by the public to rational use antibiotics.

Video and radio messaging to the public

The Radio a Television Timor-Leste (RTTL) was contracted by WHO CO to broadcast the animations and messages daily for one month respectively. The key messages and animations from WHO website were translated into Tetun and aired repeatedly every day during the month.

IEC material disseminations

IEC materials from the WAAW website were downloaded, translated, printed and disseminated. A total of 150 roll-up banners, 300 standees, 6000 A3 posters were produced and disseminated to major health facilities, veterinary clinics and health offices of all the 13 municipalities.

Lessons learnt

  • The 2017’s WAAW activities were efficiently organized and effectively implemented in Timor-Leste. Thanks to the well-designed materials and messages from the WHO website, together with the experiences from previous year’s AMR campaign, the activities were organized in a short period of time with active participation from not only students and public health professionals, but also the private practitioners and pharmacists who are not covered by the previous campaigns.
  • The radio and TV messaging have been broadcasted for one month, not just for the WAAW only. This greatly increases the coverage and impact of these messages to the public.
  • Currently the awareness level for AMR as well as rational prescribing and use of antibiotics are not yet well understood in the country. It is planned to conduct a survey in 2018, as a basis and evidence to plan for the future campaigns.

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