AMR (antimicrobial resistance) has become an urgent global health concern of recent times . The crisis is taking its toll over mankind throughout the globe may it be developed or developing part of the world. The healthcare professionals and related organisations throughout the world are in consensus and have agreed that AMR is one of the top 10 global health crises (as declared by WHO) which if ignored will slowly take the world backward to the era where even day to day infections were fatal and untreatable.
But the question arises that though the buzz is too loud in developed part of the world , what about the developing and underdeveloped nations? To what extent in these nations the general public is actually aware about the impact of surging problem of AMR ? And if yes, to what extent do they know that even slight ignorance in their day-to-day health practices adds on to this soaring problem?
Most of the surveys done in developing parts of the world where the issue is even more aggressive due to unjustified and inappropriate use of antibiotics show that the general public is not well aware of the problem and has lots of misconceptions about it. A multi-country survey conducted by the WHO in 12 developing countries in 2015 revealed widespread public misunderstanding about antibiotic resistance.* In most of these nations though initiatives have been taken by government and related health bodies in running campaigns to enlighten citizens about the rising threat of AMR, very few of them have been successful in serving the purpose. As a result the rate of AMR ignorance is still very high in developing nations. A recent research done in China in 2019 revealed that despite vigorous efforts the government faces difficult challenges in overcoming public misconceptions regarding antimicrobial use.*
The governments and related health bodies in such countries need to introspect why they are failing to reach the ground level and why the similar awareness campaigns run by global health body ,WHO have much higher success rate in developed nations unlike developing countries. They need to realise that the main challenge lies in low literacy rate and ignorance of citizens and has to be countered to make AMR campaigns a success.
The key strategy for a successful campaign in such nations should be effective communication in a very simple way which can be easily accepted by the local population. An AMR general awareness campaign in developing countries for increased effectiveness should revolve around:
It is high time to realise that AMR is not a region specific problem but a global issue which needs to be addressed actively in every part of the world and all nations need to go hand in hand to combat this global threat. Unlike developed countries , many of the developing nations may not be able to afford the cost for Antimicrobial Stewardship programmes and tools but wisely devising general AMR awareness campaigns focussed on above mentioned few basic points can definitely help them in fighting the AMR problems to their best.