Empowering the next generation of champions to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance!
Antibiotics are the cornerstone of many of the miracles of modern day medicine, from cancer chemotherapy to organ donation. The loss of effective antibiotics would mean reverting back to a time when simple infections might become untreatable. Each year, 700,000 people die due to drug-resistant infections and, if unchecked, this number may rise to 10 million deaths a year by 2050 — more than the number of people that die of cancer today.
That is why ReAct, IFMSA, the World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and South Centre have joined forces to organize Innovate4AMR, the world´s first global innovation challenge in solving Antimicrobial Resistance.
During the first year of its implementation, Innovate4AMR has gained wide-spread interest from both students and professionals working in the field. The first part of the competition was organized online, calling out for student teams from all around the world for their solutions on Antimicrobial Stewardship in resource-limited settings.
“As future healthcare professionals, IFMSA is extremely concerned about the consequences of antimicrobial resistance on communities around the world. With Innovate4AMR, we aim to empower students across the globe to join the fight for a world free of untreatable infections. We hope that by building capacity, the brilliant ideas of the winning teams will be put into action.”, said Teodor Cristian Blidaru, Liaison Officer to Student Organizations of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations.
With more than 1200 young health advocates signed up for the competition, Innovate4AMR received 145 solutions from teams coming from over 30 countries. After several rounds of judging, first by an IFMSA-ReAct-WHO Technical Review Panel and then by a panel of Expert Judges, the following 11 winning teams were selected: AMRhark’ay (Peru), Safer Informality (Canada), PRIME (United States), ARMED (Philippines), BioRegulation (Honduras, Pakistan), The Global Health Enthusiasts (Nigeria), AntiResist (India), Indian Alliance For AMR Control (India), Anti2Biotics (China), ACME (India) and Makerere University Medical Students Association,(Uganda).
“We are very impressed with the projects the winning teams have come up with and we very much look forward to meeting them in Geneva. As accomplished student leaders, we believe they have real potential to drive change in the field of AMR,” said Virginie Marchand, Research Program Coordinator with the ReAct Strategic Policy Program and the IDEA Initiative.
Students from these teams have the opportunity to present their proposals at the Capacity Building Workshop, supported by the World Health Organization and South Centre in Geneva, between 14th and 17th of November, during World Antibiotic Awareness Week.
During the event, students will attend talks and workshops on AMR, discuss with experts how to make strategic improvements to their innovation, and receive feedback on how best to operationalize their project. The aim is that after returning to their home countries, the teams will be equipped with enough knowledge to start implementing their projects.
“We hope to engage and enlist the next generation of leaders in developing innovative, scalable approaches to address the challenge of conserving existing antibiotics. Those in the healthcare sector have a particularly crucial role to play in finding new solutions” said Anthony So, MD, MPA, Director, ReAct Strategic Policy Program and IDEA (Innovation+Design Enabling Access) Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
For more information, visit Innovate4AMR.org.
For more information about the partner organizations supporting the Capacity Building Workshop, please access:
International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) – https://ifmsa.org/
ReAct – https://www.reactgroup.org/
World Health Organization – http://www.who.int/
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – https://www.jhsph.edu/
South Centre – https://www.southcentre.int/