FAMSA – CALL FOR ARTICLES, NOVEMBER 2017
FEDERATION OF AFRICAN MEDICAL STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATIONS (FEDERATION DES ASSOCIATION DES ETUDIANTS EN MEDICINE) FAMSA is a Non-Governmental, Non Profit Oriented Organisation for all medical students in Africa to play a significant role in improvement of the health of the African people and the problems of African society.
This week is Antibiotics Awareness Week. This year’s theme for the A.A.W is Seek advice from a qualified Health Care Professional before taking antibiotics. Antibiotics are important in treatment of disease and so it is of paramount importance that we know when, why and how to use them.
We are therefore making a call to Medical Students interested in writing articles within the A.A.W theme for 2017.
If you are interested in the above theme and you would like to share your ideas with Africa and the World as a whole and publish on the FAMSA’s website – famsanet.org and FAMSA blog,
Please send us your full article on any topic of your choice under the above theme.
Deadline is 11:59pm GMT Friday, 18th November, 2017.
Incoming articles should adhere to the following specifications:
1⃣ Clearly defined brief topic
2⃣ Not more than 1,500 words
3⃣ Full details of writer including name, school, country and contacts.
4⃣ All articles should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Change can only start from you and me. Let us not wait for others to act on our behalf.
FAMSA; Towards The Improvement Of Health In Africa.
Chairperson, SCOPUB, FAMSA 2017.
AMR Week. Webinar Session in Collaboration with International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation AFRO Region.
In line with Antimicrobial Resistance awareness week scheduled for 13th to 19th November, Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations (FAMSA) in partnership with International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) AfRO region is hosting webinar under the theme “Antimicrobial Resistance a global call to Healthcare professionals”
Time: November 16th from 6pm to 8pm (GMT+0).
Speaker: Dr K.O Buabeng.
So fix a reminder and join the meeting via:
Tell your friend to tell a friend to not miss it.
Together we can know more to end this scourge in Africa!!!
FAMSA……Towards the improvement of health in Africa
The Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations hereby opens a call for application for the position of Chairperson, Standing Committee on Publications (SCOPUB).
Details of the role of this position can be found here
How do you apply?
– You must send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org before 20th October 11:59pm GMT.
– Only Non-Nigerian African medical students are eligible.
– Send the following documents to email@example.com before 20th October 11:59pm GMT:
- Cover letter (Not longer than 1 page)
- Plan of Action
- Letter from your MSA president
- Evidence of studentship
Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you have any questions regarding the application process, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to disease of the heart and blood vessel. It accounts for the commonest cause of death worldwide and it’s been described as a global public health crisis.
The African region is not left out in this public health crisis, since over the past years the incidence of CVD has risen significantly. Studies in Africa have shown that CVD should be regarded as high-priority as the risk factors for CVD are increasing in the African population.
Recognizing this global health problem, the Federation of African Medical Students’ Associations (FAMSA), in line with her goal of improving the health of the African people has decided to stage a campaign in commemoration of this year’s world heart day, in collaboration with the World Heart Federation (WHF). FAMSA believes that Africans should made aware of risk factors that contribute to CVD and mitigation of these risk factors in order to reduce the drastic rise of CVD on the continent.
This year’s World Heart Day will be holding on September 29, 2017 and the theme is “Share the Power.” People all over Africa should share ways in which they are living a heart healthy life, either by eating healthy, increasing activity, etc.
FAMSA encourages medical students across Africa to participate in this campaign as a way of contributing toward the improvement of health in Africa.
Campaigns range from online campaigns as specified in the activity guide to community health outreaches. Anything at all that gets Africans thinking about their heart health and living a heart healthy life.
Our activity guide for the campaign can be found in this link http://bit.ly/FAMSAGuide
Campaign materials can be downloaded here http://bit.ly/WHDMaterials
Please endeavor to share your campaign pictures with FAMSA via our social media handles or via email so they can be featured.
Towards the Improvement of the health of Africa
It was an exciting, educative fun-filled one week period where medical students all across Africa, under the umbrella of the Federation of African Medical Students Associations (FAMSA) raised their voices to create awareness on antibiotic resistance.
The sensitization campaign took place from Monday 14th – Sunday 20th November 2016; With theme ‘Stop antibiotics misuse’, FAMSA organized both online and offline activities to commemorate this event.
Some of which were;
- Dissemination of electronic banners and billboards carrying messages on antibiotic resistance via all social media platforms using the hash tag ‘‘stop antibiotic misuse’
- Pictures of medical students and other people from all walks of life carrying a message on antibiotic resistance.
- In collaboration with a non-governmental organization (Dr. SEA initiative) we made a video in very simple language educating the general public on causes, consequences of antibiotic resistance as well as preventive measures to avoid this global upcoming crisis
- Various medical student associations organized debates in their various institutions in the topic ‘Should antibiotics be used as an over-the counter drug’ and so much more.
About 1000 people took part in the campaign and it was a huge success. However, there is still a lot to be done with regards to the subject matter.
Antibiotics resistance is real so…… STOP ANTIBIOTIC MISUSE!!!
NJANG M. EMMANUEL
World’s ANTIBIOTICS AWARENESS WEEK (Nov 14 – 20): Stop Antibiotics Misuse
Antibiotics have transformed medicine and saved millions of lives. This wonderful invention – which started with the discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1928 – has made many successful surgeries possible and put Infections under control. But the tragedy is; antibiotics are about to be rendered useless because of me and you – our adamant, inconsistent nature, our misappropriate use of antibiotics.
Benefits of antibiotics
Apart from saving people’s lives, antibiotics have also played crucial role in achieving major advances in medicine and surgery such as successfully preventing and treating infections in individuals receiving chemotherapy and people with acute and chronic diseases.
People in the US were expected to live for only 56.4years old in 1920, now however the US average life span is 80 years. Antibiotics have helped to extend expected life spans by changing the outcome of infections in general. It has done the same in developing countries like Nigeria where sanitation is still poor and has drastically decreased morbidity and mortality caused by food borne and poverty related infections.
Our Present situation
Bacteria resistance has evolved over the years, from penicillin resistance to methicillin resistance and now vancomycin resistance, the newer strains of the resistant bacteria are getting stronger and stronger as the new drugs being developed against them are getting stronger and stronger.
Penicillin resistant bacteria à Methicillin Resistance Staph. Aureus (MRSA) à Vancomycin Resistant Strains.
Since all they do is, seek refuge in our blood and make friends with these drugs we create to terminate them. Our usual practice of just taking the first and second dose of antibiotics prescribed to us, when we start seeing the physical manifestation of the drugs such as yellow coloured, drug smelling urine or our boil shrinking, is killing. As we only give room to the bacteria left from the good concentration urinated out of our body system to adapt to the lower toxicity of the drugs in our body.
The most alarming and hurtful part is that, the learned ones and medical oriented individuals partake in these practice even medical students. And we go about clinical coats, screaming in the market place, stop drug abuse, stop drug abuse!! This we do mostly under the umbrella of an association or a philanthropic group, after which we return to our various homes and continue the bad practice. Even among our relatives, we find this misuse and we do nothing to stop it. But then, it was discovered that this predicament is worldwide which brings us to the Question what is “misuse”? Or for the sake of appropriateness¸ “what are the causes of our antibiotic resistance crises”?
Overuse of drugs started way back, few years after penicillin – the first antibiotics –was invented, then, Sir Alexander Fleming raised an alarm but no one listened to him. An era of drug overuse clearly drives the evolution of drug resistance. The Bacteria, like every other living thing, inherit genes from their “parents”, get modified overtime and they build resistance to these drugs.
Despite warnings, antibiotics are overprescribed worldwide and this is worsened by the fact that Antibiotics are sold in many countries unregulated as OTC (Over The Counter drugs) without proper prescription. So people can freely buy and use any form of antibiotics based on discretion. And when even prescribed, studies have shown that treatment indication – choice of agent, duration of antibiotic therapy – Is incorrect in 30% to 50% of cases. In Addition, 30% to 60% of the antibiotics prescribed in intensive care units have been found to be unnecessary, inappropriate or suboptimal.
Another way of overuse is when we use them extensively for livestock. Treating livestock with antimicrobials is said to improve the overall health of the animals, producing larger yields and a higher quality the products. The antibiotics used in livestock are consumed by humans when they consume food and resistance starts to set in. All these are not so much under control, I mean, patients have to be treated and livestock have to be bred. But then, the next form of misuse which is underuse/incomplete doses and self-overuse is what is most important here in our environment today.
Incomplete doses/Under use
This is so rampart, there wouldn’t be need to emphasize. Drugs are supposed to be used adequately, not too much and too little. When we don’t complete our doses, and the blood concentration supposed to cause adequate therapeutic effect isn’t optimal, only some of the bacteria get eliminated while the others supposed to be susceptible start to build up resistance against the drug and then produce offspring that are also resistant.
And what makes the case worse is the Lack of new drug development by the pharmaceutical industries due to reduced economy incentives and challenging regulatory requirements and approval.
Consequences of Antibiotics Misuse
Antibiotics resistant infections are already widely spread across the globe. Many public health organizations have described the rapid emergency of resistant bacteria as a crisis or nightmare scenario that could have catastrophic consequences. CDC, WHO institute of medicine, federal interagency task forces have declared resistant bacteria as a substantial treat to the entire globe.
Here is fact; MRSAs kills more American each year than HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, emphysema and homicide put together. Now, Vancomycin which is supposed to be our refuge drug is no longer as effective because Vancomycin resistant enterococci and so many other additional pathogens are developing resistance to many common antibiotics.
In conclusion, rapidly emerging resistance bacteria threaten the extraordinary health benefits that have been achieved with antibiotics in time past. This crisis is global, reflecting the underuse and overuse of these drugs and the lack of development of new antibiotic agents by pharmaceutical companies to address the challenge. Now, to achieve a non-resistant environment for pathogens, we need to think on the following:
What should be done and is within our power to avoid this killing resistance?
Should antibiotics no longer be sold OTC? OR Should we keep campaigning to people to stop the misuse?
You can drop your own ideas on our social media (twitter) using the #StopAntibioticMisuse
Karolinska Institute Investidators in Sweeden
CDC, World Health Organisation
Standing Committee on Publication (SCOPUB-FAMSA 2016/2017)
Agoyi Mary Oluwakemisola,
Chairman, Standing Committee on Publication (FAMSA 2016/2017),
ABC’s of Antibiotic Resistance
I vividly remember being well beaten for being a destructive and stubborn kid. And the more I was beaten, the less I felt the pains till it reached the moment I felt no pains but irritations when I was beaten. I guess my pain receptors were dead. I am sure present day bacteria would tell a similar story in regards to antibiotics for they have been exposed to all sorts and grown immune to them rendering treatment ineffective.
Antibiotic is the medical term to describe drugs used in treating diseases caused by bacteria. They play a very important role in reducing the presence and burden of diseases such as pneumonia, cholera, TB and sexually transmittable diseases like gonorrhea (call them communicable diseases) which are very much alive and active in our communities. With such as crisis like antibiotic resistance, treating people with HIV/AIDS would be difficult.
We cannot blame the bacteria for being resistant to antibiotics because adaptability is a natural process for them. The bulk of the blame falls on you and maybe me. Our attitude and habits towards drugs are contributing factors: the use of fake and counterfeit medicines from road side doctors and mobile pharmacies; poor prescription for health workers; and above all, stubbornness on your part to comply with treatment. Yes you! How often do you finish your treatment, especially for typhoid?
We never like to take blames no matter how obvious it might be, so we push it onto some other person. Thank goodness we have the government who would always carry the blame. We could blame it on government for the weak medical regulatory capacity and the circulation of substandard (counterfeit) drugs, or the weak laboratory capacity on antibiotic testing and reporting and lack of essential reagents and consumables. We could also blame government for the limited quality assurance and control; protocol or lack of antibiotic surveillance strategies. But you know if we did just the simple things like complying with treatment, we would not be facing most of these challenges right?
And hey, antibiotic resistant is NOT an African issue, it is thriving in all nations and communities just like ours. And did you also know that the famous gonorrhea would soon become resistant to all lines of treatment rendering it untreatable. Here is what would happen if gonorrhea is untreatable:
- Increased rates of infertility,
- Increased rates of pregnancy complications including miscarriages,
- Blindness of new births
- And you would hate sex and curse God for creating it.
But wait a moment, what is Antibiotic Resistance? Antibiotic resistance is the household name for Antimicrobial resistance which is resistance of microorganisms like; bacteria, fungi, viruses and malaria parasites to a drug that used to effective infections caused by these microorganisms. Antibiotic resistance is specific to bacteria while antimicrobial resistance covers all microorganisms including bacteria. Antimicrobial resistance kills people and slows the control and eradication of infectious diseases like malaria, syphilis, yellow fever and cholera without leaving out the famous gonorrhea. When infections become difficult to treat, new medications are introduced marking cost of treatment very expensive for many to afford and they end up dying.
This whole thing of antibiotic resistance is more complex than we think it is. It is influenced by many interconnected factors and as such, single isolated interventions have very little impact. Coordinated action is needed to minimize emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance.
According to the WHO, all parties (individuals, health workers and pharmacies, government and pharmaceutical industries) can help in reducing antibiotic resistance and here is how;
- Wash our hands and avoid close contact with sick people to prevent bacterial and viral transmissions.
- Get vaccinated and keep vaccinated up to date.
- Using antimicrobial drugs only when prescribed by a certified health professional
- Complete the full treatment course
- Never share antimicrobial drugs with others or use leftover prescriptions.
- Health workers and pharmacists can help by;
- Enhancing infection prevention and control in hospitals and clinics.
- Only prescribing and dispensing antibiotics which are truly needed,
- Prescribing and dispensing the right antimicrobial drugs to treat the illness.
- Government can help by
- Improving monitoring around the extent and cause of resistance.
- Strengthening infection control and prevention.
- Promoting and regulating appropriate use of medicines.
- Making information widely available on the impact of antimicrobial resistance and how the public and health professionals can play their part.
- Recognizing and rewarding innovation and development of new treatment options and other tools.
- Scientists and pharmaceutical industry can help by
- Fostering innovation, research and development of new vaccines, diagnostic tools and treatment options.
So now you have completed a 60 hours medical/pharmaceutical course in just 5 minutes. And with such knowledge we are counting on you to help conquer bacteria through the proper use of antibiotics.
You don’t want to go without watching this interesting video by Dr Susan Enjema on Antibiotics Resistance.
Click here to download the FAMSA Bulletin Issue No. 001FAMSA BULLETIN
ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE; Can we stop it before it stops us?
Antibiotics, once considered one of the best discoveries of the 20th century have now become a problem with the rise of antibiotic resistance in our health care facilities and even in the community. With this we have studied that effective use of any antibiotic is compromised by the possibility of developing resistance to the active component of the drug.
According to C. Lee Ventola and colleagues, main causes of antibiotic resistance are overuse, inappropriate prescribing, extensive agricultural use, unavailability of newer antibiotics and poor regulatory barriers. The CDC reports that every year 2 million people in the US acquire serious infections with bacteria that are resistant to one or more
Everyone is to blame. The government, the health personnel and even the patient. If the government permits antibiotics to be sold over the counter in all pharmacies, we cannot expect change. If Doctors give wrong prescriptions in terms of dosages or drug choices, what do we expect? And patients who choose to skip a dose of their medication rather than skipping alcohol at an event and not forgetting those who have mini-pharmacies in their bags for ‘rainy days’, what do we expect?
The problem of antibiotic resistance may increase exponentially if nothing is done within 20 years, resistant strains of germs are transmitted from one person to another and the death rates keep increasing, cost of preventing and treating infections has increased drastically, more and more money goes to research for development of newer and safer antibiotics.
Now we must understand that the fight against antibiotic resistance must not be left to doctors alone.
Linonge E. Christie
7th year –Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Buea, Cameroon.