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Be Part of the Solution! AMR-COVID-19 Challenge

Have you ever started to take an antibiotic on your own without a prescription? You bought 3 tablets of the medicine that made your uncle better a few weeks ago.

Or maybe you know of someone who was sick with cough and fever and the doctor prescribed an antibiotic for a few days for cough and then forgot to take it when you started getting better? Or have you ever heard about prescription sharing? It is when members of one family may think that an antibiotic that worked for an infection of one member should work for everybody else.

All of the above are examples of how we may unknowingly be using antimicrobials in a wrong way. And wrong use of antibiotics can encourage the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Because of just how often these misuse of these precious medicines may be happening, AMR is considered to be one of the most serious global threats to public health today. AMR has been further intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. AMR is a complex phenomenon where the bugs (like bacteria, virus, fungi, parasite) remain unfazed and continue to thrive despite the presence of antimicrobials. It sounds like a simple operational mishap yet the truth is AMR can be a very daunting problem threatening to become the next silent pandemic. The 2022 Lancet article which describes the global burden of AMR in 2019 before the pandemic, warns us that mortality associated with AMR is close to 5million across the globe. Our country data shows high resistance rates for common pathogens like the E coli, Klebsiella, Acinetobacter baumanni and MRSA. And many are unaware of AMR, its presence amidst us and it implications in our lives. There is an urgent need to increase awareness on AMR and collectively attempt to control, prevent and event stop AMR!

For all these reasons, the Philippine team took the heed of the World Health Organization and used the opportunity of the SEAOHUN Grant to expand the reach of AMR advocacy. Every year, the world dedicates one week t