Outcomes of the Journalists’ Capacity-Building Intervention in the Prevention and Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance in Ethiopia, 2012 to 2014

Irrational use of medicines has been a major public health problem, and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health and economic threat. AMR has been on the agenda of the annual World Health Assembly meetings.  The Food, Medicine, and Health Care Administration and Control Authority (FMHACA) of Ethiopia with technical assistance from SIAPS and its predecessor program, Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems, conducted an antimicrobials use and AMR prevention and control baseline survey in 2009. 4 The baseline survey showed the magnitude of AMR and the gaps in prescribing, dispensing, and use of antimicrobials. As part of a coordinated national effort to prevent and contain AMR, an AMR Advisory Committee led to the development of a national framework,  an action plan, and multifaceted interventions. These interventions have been launched for the prevention and containment of AMR and the promotion of RMU. One means to implement interventions that target the public is the use of mass media, particularly, television, radio, and print media. The purpose of intervention is to empower the public to use medications appropriately by creating awareness, providing education, and advocating for AMR prevention and containment. However, the mass media are highly commercialized and charge a substantial amount of money for the airtime or space needed, making their use not only less accessible financially for the health programs but also unsustainable. Therefore, the FMHACA and SIAPS developed an intervention strategy to build the capacity of journalists to improve their understanding of the topic of AMR, so that they can make AMR prevention and containment and the use of medicines a priority for their media outlets.

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