‘Think Twice, Seek Advice’! – Celebrating Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017
13th-19th November marked the World Antibiotic Awareness Week. The Maldives Food and Drug Authority with support from and in partnership with WHO observed wide range of activities across the country focusing on the theme of ‘Seek advice’ from a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics.
Minister of Health HE Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim and WHO Representative Dr Arvind Mathur jointly launched the National Action Plan for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) 2017-2022 in Male at an official multi-stakeholder event which is the hallmark of the plan as it includes and focuses on coordination between the different sectors to strengthen the battle against antimicrobial resistance
Additionally, Awareness Sessions for General Public were conducted on the safe use of antibiotics using multimedia as public parks around the Male’ Atoll. Similarly, sessions were conducted for selected organizations such as Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), Maldives Ports Limited (MPL), Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) and Maldives Police Services etc. The Ministry of Health also made it a priority to educate the different departments of the Government on the dangers of Antimicrobial Resistance.
Social and electronic media played an important role in information dissemination. Advocacy and educational messages were posted all through Ministry of Health, Health protection Agency, Maldives Food and Drug Authority and WHO Maldives’s Social Media accounts. Television and Radio were also disseminative tools in spreading awareness on Antibiotic Awareness, through interviews and appearances on Talk Shows.
On Antibiotic Awareness Week, WHO encourages communities in the Maldives to lead by example: ensure you only take antibiotics if prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional, practice good hand hygiene, and never share or use leftover antibiotics. WHO together with MFDA and MOH also reached out to the local government representatives, local leaders and influencers in encouraging them to take actions on antibiotic resistance.