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International Health

July 11, 2019

Student Competition: Design Tomorrow's Solutions for Antimicrobial Stewardship


Innovate4AMr
 

Innovate4AMR invites student teams from around the world to design innovative solutions for antimicrobial stewardship in resource-limited, healthcare settings. The global online competition seeks to engage student teams to propose strategies to tackle the underuse, overuse and misuse of antibiotics, which persist in healthcare settings from hospitals and clinics to outpatient pharmacies. In addressing AMR, student teams working across disciplines have much to contribute in proposing how to redesign the healthcare system.

“We hope to engage and enlist the next generation of leaders in developing innovative approaches to ensure more effective stewardship of antibiotics. Those in healthcare have a particularly critical role to play -- finding new solutions for a world free from the fear of untreatable infections,” 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.

ReAct – Action on Antibiotic Resistance, the IDEA (Innovation+Design Enabling Access) Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and South Centre are teaming up with the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), representing 1.3 million students from 127 countries, to organize this global competition. The World Health Organization will support and co-fund the capacity-building workshop for the winning teams.

The competition’s website provides educational resources, so no prior experience in working on AMR is needed to participate in the competition. Teams have until September 16, 2019, to put forward impactful and sustainable solutions. Winning teams will present their final proposals to an expert panel at a capacity building workshop in Geneva during the World Antibiotic Awareness Week in November 2019. There, experts will work with student teams to enable them to operationalize their projects.

As Teodor Blidaru, IFMSA Liaison Officer to Student Organizations, notes: “As future healthcare professionals, we acknowledge the huge threat and burden of Antimicrobial Resistance and we feel the need to take urgent action. Through Innovate4AMR, we aim to build a community of health students and empower them to tackle AMR in original, effective ways.”

Last year’s competition drew 145 team applications, and eleven moved onto the winner’s circle, advancing proposals ranging from innovative outreach approaches to the mothers of children in Peru among the Quechua and Aymara-speaking rural towns to track-and-trace systems using QR codes on antibiotic packaging. For more information, visit innovate4amr.org, view the video here, and sign up for updates and regular newsletters here.