Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a major threat to global public health today and Hong Kong is no exception – the number of community associated AMR related cases has increased five-fold in the past nine years. AMR occurs due to over and inappropriate use of antimicrobial medicines in human and animals, resulting in “superbugs” that are no longer controllable with previously effective treatments. Not only will further treatment become more difficult, costly or even impossible, but also the risk of disease spreading escalates. At the same time, there is no proper way for general households to dispose of unused drugs, which, when dumped at landfills, may enter the environment and increase AMR risks.
The team’s initiative BASIC responds to the government’s call to help raising public awareness on the use of antimicrobial medicines, and the consequences of improper use and disposal of the drugs. Contrary to most unidirectional governmental campaigns, the project trains student volunteers to be AMR ambassadors to fill the gap in community engagement. Ambassador teams then organise outreach services and awareness events including health checks for the elderly, AMR education as well as residual drug collection services.
The team has held 9 workshops and trained over 400 students, who promoted the health message to 4000 public members. Nearly 100 kinds of residual drugs are collected, amounting up to 40kg. Participants record a solid increase in AMR knowledge. Through hands-on experience, student ambassadors develop a greater sense of empathy to identify the physical and psychosocial needs of the elderly, on top of improving their health-delivering skills.
– 2489 elderly people served in outreach services
– 1738 general public participants at public lectures and health fairs
– 417 university and secondary school students
Vivian is a clinical pharmacist dedicated to health promotion and medication safety in the community. With a vision to nurture students’ sense of social responsibility, she supervises the interdisciplinary student outreach team CU CHAMPION. She launched the first interactive online drug information platform (AMPOULE - www.ampoule.org.hk) and community pharmacy outreach program in Hong Kong. Beyond her role as professor, she serves in multiple professional associations and NGOs. Vivian received her Doctor in Pharmacy from the University of Southern California.
Janita is deeply committed to the transfer of knowledge and promotion of public health, receiving numerous awards for her exemplary teaching and research. Her expertise include evidence-based nursing practice, stroke rehabilitation and health informatics. Janita received her postgraduate nursing education at CUHK.
Samuel is a clinician with training in both Family Medicine and Public Health. His professional interests are evaluating and developing mindfulness-based and mental health interventions in primary care; evaluating primary care services and developing primary care service models. Samuel received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Toronto.
David is an expert in respiratory medicine, heavily involved in the clinical management of SARS patients during the major outbreak in 2003. He serves as a regular advisor to the WHO on disease management practices and treatment guidelines with research focused on clinical management of emerging severe acute respiratory infections, safety of respiratory therapy and infection control in the medical ward environment. David graduated from the University of New South Wales, then trained in Respiratory Medicine and Sleep Medicine in Sydney, Australia.