Nigerian Health Students Unite against Antimicrobial Resistance

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A cross section of Pharmacy, medical, Nursing, and Medical lab students from Lead City University, Ibadan.

In an unprecedented move, students from diverse healthcare disciplines across Nigeria recently joined forces for the first-ever nationwide Interprofessional and Allied Health Students’ Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Rally.

The unique collaboration featured a united front against the multifaceted challenges posed by AMR, as students from various disciplines brought their unique perspectives, knowledge, and expertise to bare, in emphasising the importance of collective action in combatting this global threat.

Health Students from UNILORIN during the rally.

The National AMR campaign, organised by the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigerian Students (PANS) under the leadership of Melody Okereke-led 49th PANS National administration, was in collaboration with the Nigerian Medical Students Association (NiMSA), the Nigerian Universities Nursing Students Association (NUNSA), the Nigerian Medical Laboratory Science Students Association (NiMELSSA), the International Veterinary Students Association (IVSA)-Nigeria, and the Nigerian Association of Veterinary Medicine Students (NAVMS).

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The programme held simultaneously across over 20 universities in different states during the World AMR Awareness Week, marked a significant milestone in Nigeria’s history.

It saw Pharmacy, Medical, Nursing, Medical Laboratory Science, and Veterinary Medicine students collaborated in a synchronized effort to address the escalating global health crisis of AMR.

Speaking about the event, Okereke, the national president, PANS, said “I wish to specially appreciate the National Presidents of other health student associations: Ejim Clement of NiMSA, Chinaza Eze of NUNSA, Aba David of NiMELLSA, Ahmed Saheed of IVSA-Nigeria, and Afolayan Ayomide of NAVMS, for their collaboration and their receptiveness to the idea of uniting all health students in Nigeria for the first time ever.

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“I also commend Ms. Omotayo Faith Olanrewaju, the PANS national Chairperson of Public Health, for her exceptional coordination throughout the entire event, and the members of my national executive council -particularly my national vice presidents across all the universities- who worked wholeheartedly to ensure the success of this project.

“This groundbreaking collaboration has laid a strong foundation for inter-professional health collaboration when these students eventually become professionals”.

The event featured information booths, expert talks, and interactive sessions designed to engage the public. Through these activities, students dispelled misconceptions, provided accurate information about AMR, and fostered a better understanding of the issue.

Furthermore, the success of the event was not only measured by the scale of participation but also by the initiation of a national discourse on responsible antibiotic use. This outcome aligns with the broader goal of fostering an understanding of the collective roles that students play in combating the global health crisis of AMR.

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As the rally set a precedent for future collaborative efforts among health students, participants expressed optimism about the potential for continued collaboration in addressing other healthcare challenges in the future.

 

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