RITM joins fight against Antimicrobial Resistance

WHO Philippines Essential Medicines and Health Technologies Consultant Ms. Carmela Barcelona presents the Global Problem on Antimicrobial Resistance.

Have you ever wondered what might happen if medications people rely on to treat or prevent infections eventually stop working? Simple – there would be no more drugs for the bad bugs.
This phenomenon is known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Recently, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) hosted the Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Training Program for Level II/III Hospitals to prepare and equip hospitals in implementing their own Antimicrobial Stewardship program.

“We want to institutionalize the AMS program across all health facilities and to strengthen their knowledge, attitude, and practices on rational prescribing, dispensing, and use of antimicrobials,” said RITM AMS Team Leader Dr. Jemelyn Garcia.

Sharing a global overview on the issue, World Health Organization (WHO) Essential Medicines and Health Technologies Consultant Ms. Carmela Barcelona emphasized that there is a slow pace of drug development of new antibiotics to make up for the increasing trend of AMR.

“Most of the drugs currently in the clinical pipeline are just modifications of the existing classes of antibiotics and there are only short term solutions,”
she stressed.

It is certain that there are many drivers to AMR, but Antimicrobial Stewardship Steering Committee Chair Dr. Regina Barba mentioned that the AMS program takes particular note of the providers, “AMS is essential in hospitals, because we really have a high level of antibiotic use.”

Waging war against this already globally looming problem, the Department of Health (DOH) assigned four hospital leaders namely RITM, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH), and the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) to serve as AMS training hubs for public and private healthcare organizations across the country.

As of October 2017, a total of 93 hospitals have already undergone the AMS training. PGH and SPMC will host the last two workshops for year 2017.

by Allenor Enciso, Communication and Engagement Office [RITM Web Team]