Insights from Community Engagement for Antimicrobial Resistance in Nepal

Introducing the Community Engagement for Antimicrobial Resistance blog series

Starting in August we’ll  be hosting a series of blog posts from the CE4AMR project’s summer workshop in Nepal.  This interdisciplinary meeting looked at how community engagement and participatory arts methodologies can tackle major health challenges including antimicrobial resistance (AMR).  Delegates represented a huge range of research and practice backgrounds which made for some fantastic discussions and sharing of best practice at the event.  Now reflecting on our experiences, we no doubt all took away very different learnings and want to continue sharing these perspectives as broadly as possible. For the next few weeks we will hear from delegates from across the Arts, Humanities, Medical, Anthropological, and Social and Environmental science spheres.  All share their experiences of the workshop, and how they use creative methodology to achieve behaviour change and positive health outcomes in their own research/practice.

Written by Muhammad Shafique, College of Public Health Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

Photo Credit: HERD International

I was privileged enough to attend the Community Engagement workshop on Antimicrobial Resistance (26-28 June 2019) in Nepal.  The event was a joint venture of the University of Leeds and HERD international and attended by policy level government officials, academics and partner organizations from various parts of the world. One of the main strengths of the workshop was that the highly technical issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was discussed and shared in layman’s language using limited jargon which encouraged the participation of various partners.   

 I really like the multidisciplinary participation from the government, civil society and academic institutions which stressed on the importance of intersectoral collaboration to fight antimicrobial resistance. The most important aspect of the conference was the participatory nature of its sessions which maintained the interest and actively engaged the participants in the discussions.  The workshop provided balanced insights on both community engagement and technical aspects of AMR which were well received. The structure of the workshop was good and allowed participants to share their innovative ideas and approaches to address AMR in 3-min lightening talks.  These worked well as a way of sharing the key strategies and tools being used to engage communities on AMR in various regions. Personally I learned lots of new and interesting approaches in a short span of time.   

 Overall, the workshop was a very well planned event starting from the logistics, participation, discussions and networking to the rich cultural evening in Nagarkot, Nepal.  It provided opportunities to network and establish good, sustainable working relationships.  The venues provided participants an opportunity to explore the cultural places of Kathmandu as well as the lush green mountainous region of Nagarkot which provided some beautiful glimpses of Mount Everest.   

Photo Credit: Lauren Wray

 As a Pakistani, I must say that organizing this event in Nepal saved me the hassle of obtaining a visa-in-advanceAs a member of SAARC country, I enjoyed some privileges not always open to me as an academic and got my Nepal visa on arrival.  In the end, I must say that I am really grateful to Dr Rebecca King, University of Leeds for providing me this wonderful opportunity to participate, present my work and meet with experts from all over the world.  I will carry forward the AMR message, and use this experience and learnings in my work to further improve my community engagement approaches to tackling AMR and other global health issues.  

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