Dear members of AMSA,
We would like to invite you to participate in the second annual Innovate4AMR, a global student design competition aimed at improving antimicrobial stewardship in low-resource healthcare settings, with the objective of ensuring access and increasing equity. Sponsored by the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), ReAct, the IDEA Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO), Innovate4AMR offers you and your student group members the opportunity to join the front lines of the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
Antibiotics are the cornerstone of many miracles of modern day medicine, from cancer chemotherapy to organ donation. The loss of effective antibiotics would mean reverting to a time when simple infections might become untreatable. Each year, 700,000 people die due to drug-resistant infections and, if unchecked, this number may rise to 10 million deaths a year by 2050— more than the number of people that die of cancer today.
Innovate4AMR’s teams, drawn from across the globe, will be asked to design novel strategies for key actors that have influence over how antibiotics are used appropriately or not in the healthcare delivery system. In particular, the competition asks participants to focus on social policies, structures, and other systems-level actions that affect antimicrobial stewardship, access, and equity. Innovate4AMR invites students to come up with creative solutions that tackle how we might manage better the use of life-saving antibiotics in our hospitals, clinics and outpatient pharmacies, particularly in resource-limited settings. How can we change patient expectations of an antibiotic when faced with a viral illness not treatable by such drugs? What role might telehealth play in improving antimicrobial stewardship without local infectious disease experts? Could mobile phones enable delayed prescribing of antibiotics till the patient actually needs such treatment? How do we achieve access, but not excess in stewarding this resource in healthcare delivery?
The winners of the competition will be given an opportunity to present their proposal at a capacity building workshop. The deadline for proposal submissions is Monday, September 16, 2019. Given that your student organisation produces some of the world’s brightest future leaders, we wanted to extend a personal invitation to your students to form a team and submit a proposal to the hackathon. Last year 145 teams joined us in this effort, and the eleven winning teams brought forward an array of innovative projects.
To learn more about the competition and how to register, please visit innovate4amr.org. Both a one-page flyer and a two-page handout for the competition are also attached. We hope that you will invite your colleagues to join us in this year’s global call for proposals. Interested students can sign up here for updates.
On behalf of the Innovate4AMR Team