By Claudia Silvia ISPAS, EMSA Medical Science Director
Antimicrobial Resistance is one of the most concerning challenges facing today’s healthcare providers. The spread of drug resistance and evolution of multi-drug diseases affects the work of all health professionals, including students. Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) now influences the way we treat patients, the effectiveness of future interventions and prevention of infections world-wide. As a global issue, AMR should be addressed by promoting a One Health approach and joint actions to promote awareness and implement preventative measures by all relevant sectors should be encouraged
The European Medical Students’ Association – EMSA, representing over 100.000 medical students across the European continent, takes an active role in the fight against Antimicrobial Resistance. Prevention is the key to combat the spread of infections and resistant bacteria, concerning all levels within health care, our community and the environment. Organizing yearly informative campaigns during the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week we strive to educate our members, future healthcare professionals as well as the general public regarding drug resistance. We believe that by systematically and creatively focusing society’s attention on these issues, we can raise awareness among individuals and help combat the misuse of antibiotics in each of our 28 member countries.
Considering that in our society it is vital to increase awareness and understanding of AMR through effective training, evidence-based education and communication, EMSA calls upon all stakeholders to conduct further research and facilitate access to information on bacterial infections, antibiotics and Antimicrobial Resistance. This empowers both healthcare professionals to ensure patient compliance and enables the general public to critically reflect on the implementation of their healthcare. Additionally, EMSA promotes evidence-based vaccination to prevent the use of antibiotics.
Medical students, as future health professionals will play an important role in the way we manage the use of drugs in the future, therefore proper education on AMR and responsible use of antibiotics should be our number one priority in medical education. EMSA would like to show support for a One Health approach of Antimicrobial Resistance, the importance of Inter-professional Collaboration and Vaccination curricula that is concerningly not included in medical students’ education in most European countries. Cooperation between public research institutions, governments, the pharmaceutical industry and universities is necessary to ensure enhanced development of effective and innovative treatments.
Moreover, we would like to emphasize that coping with AMR requires long-term approaches and specifically not only seemingly effective short-term solutions. That is why EMSA is open to collaborate with all interested parties bringing innovative solutions from fresh minds wishing to improve health in Europe.