THE 2021 WORLD ANTIMICROBIAL AWARENESS WEEK
The Centre began the commemoration of 2021 World Antimicrobial Awareness Week with sensitization/ capacity building training at the School of Nursing and Midwifery Gusau, Zamfara state. The 2021 World Antimicrobial Awareness Week has the theme and slogan “Spread Awareness: Stop Resistance” and “Antimicrobials, Handle with Care” respectively. The program was well attended by participants drawn from the School of Nursing, School of Midwifery, School of Community Nursing, School of Community Midwifery, School of Post- Basic Midwifery and their respective staff. The high point of the program was a practical demonstration of how best to sanitize our hands using antiseptic hand sanitizers and liquid soap against the use of solid soap tablet, a procedure which was repeated by the participants under close supervision by the facilitators.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAM
The objectives of the program were;
1. Sensitization on the current trends on antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
2. Sensitization on the impacts of infection prevention and control and improved hygiene in tackling the spread of AMR
3. Enlightenment on the dangers of the use of counterfeited drugs in the spread of AMR
4. Awareness creation on the nexus between AMR and climate change
Each of the objectives was carefully broken- down into sub-themes and their contents were delivered by the facilitators as follows;
1. The concept of antimicrobial resistance: This was presented by Nurudeen Salisu (Executive Director, Centre for Community Advancement and Development)
2. The dangers on the use of counterfeited drugs in the spread of AMR: This topic was presented by Mrs. Rosemary E. Okoye (Program Officer, Centre for Community Advancement and Development)
3. The nexus between AMR and climate change: The topic was presented by Mr. Victor Ukwaja Chijioke (Head of Programs, Centre for Community Advancement and Development)
4. Antimicrobial resistance; the need for all to become an awareness champion/ ambassador: This topic was presented by Mrs. Oluchukwu Abba (Program Officer, Centre for Community Advancement and Development).
5. Practical steps to hand sanitizing using antiseptic hand sanitizer and liquid Soap
At the end of the presentations and the practical session, a question and answers session was allowed to further clarify on questions asked by the participants. In this session, four students and three staff participated and the facilitators convincingly responded to their questions and observations. Among the questions asked were;
1. What can be done by policy makers to reduce the circulation of counterfeited drugs in the society?
2. Specifically, how can health workers contribute in the fight against the spread of AMR in the communities?
3. What are the efforts been made by the Centre to mitigate the spread of AMR especially in the health care settings?
4. What is the age bracket on the burden of AMR in Nigeria?
5. Why liquid soaps are more suitable than tablet soap in hand sanitizing?
However, observations and contributions made include;
1. The need for the Centre to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance in the use of antibiotics in the state
2. The need for town hall meetings to actively engage stakeholders to mitigate AMR
At the end of the program, the Centre was convinced on the achievement of its set out objectives, this involve the presentations made by the facilitators which was communicated in clear and concise. Questions which were further answered convincingly which are indicators that learning has taken place among the participants. Equally, the participants showed strong desire to extend the knowledge acquired during the training to their colleagues, homes, neighborhoods and communities. In addition, the participants were passionate in joining the newly formed antimicrobial awareness club by the Centre and looked forward to an intensive and in-depth training on AMR in order to become AMR awareness Ambassadors.
The School Management under the leadership of Alh. Hassan Isah Bungudu (The Executive Director) warmly thanked the Centre for the sensitization program especially the facilitators who took time to deliver paper presentations to their satisfaction. In appreciation, the school authority presented a letter of gratitude and requested for partnership with the Centre for further trainings of both staff and students to strengthen the fight against AMR.