1. How are you and your work contributing to protect Indonesia from the threat of antibiotic resistance?
Currently we are continuously disseminating ‘Gema Cermat’ through one of its materials “the wise way to use antibiotics”. This ‘Gema Cermat’ is carried out by Pharmacists who are members of the AoC (Agent of Change) in Primary Healthcare, Hospitals and Pharmacies.
2. What are your thoughts on the role of the private sector in improving appropriate use of antibiotics?
More than 50% of medicines are prescribed, given or sold inappropriately. As a result, more than 50% of patients fail to take the drug properly where it will lead to negative impact on human resources and redundant use of drugs.
Initial actions taken by the private sector include public education, supervision of health workers and simultaneously pharmaceutical procurement by the government and related parties.
Pharmacies are one of the primary players in private healthcare, and have a vital role in increasing the use of appropriate antibiotics. Pharmacists in pharmacies can educate the public about the impact of inappropriate use of antibiotics by spreading the ‘Gema Cermat’ (Movement of smart society using drugs).
3. What type of interventions involving private drug sellers could best inform AMR policy at national and international level?
Possible solutions for AMR are to “prevent, detect and respond.”
The national action plan to fight AMR has 5 strategic objectives: increase public knowledge and understanding, strengthen surveillance of AMR, reduce and prevent infection, optimize the use of antimicrobials, ensure sustainable investments in new health technologies, diagnostics and vaccines.
The intervention that we have provided is the enforcement of existing regulations related to AMR policies. This includes providing guidance and warnings to private facilities that commit violence and/or temporarily terminating activities in case of disobedience.
4. In your view, how will the COVID-19 pandemic affect efforts to address AMR in Indonesia and similar countries?
Controlling AMR is more challenging with the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic because people tend to consume antimicrobials to treat diseases due to bacteria as proven by laboratory test results. In other words, the tendency of people to use antimicrobials irrationally increases during a pandemic and this has a major impact on the handling of AMR in Indonesia.
Currently, there has been cooperation between the Indonesian government and the British government in the Fleming Fund Grant program, as a form of cooperation to strengthen the health system in our country.
The Fleming Fund Grant Program aims to improve the ability of countries to identify and diagnose drug-resistant infections with a focus on bacterial infections and to improve surveillance data so that they can be used to determine national and international policies.