5th ISBMUN Conference
Day 1 : Antimicrobial Resistance in Less Developed Countries
Despite an alarming increase in the spread of drug resistance, AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) is an underrated global catastrophic biological risk. Globally, an estimated 700,000 people die from it annually. The causes of drug-resistance development in LEDC’s are compound and may be rooted in the practices of health care professionals and patients’ behaviour towards the use of antimicrobials as well as supply chains of antibiotics in the population. The primary contributors to AMR include poor surveillance of drug-resistant infections, poor quality of available antibiotics, clinical misuse, and the ease of availability of antimicrobials. LEDC’s also face increased inappropriate prescription practices, inadequate patient education, limited diagnostic facilities, unauthorized sale of antimicrobials, lack of effective drug regulatory mechanisms, and the use of antiseptics in animal production. Due to the lack of effective and reliable surveillance systems and poor dissemination of research information, health professionals in developing countries sometimes lack up to date information on the AMR pattern within their populations. Antimicrobials developed in recent years have been variations of existing drugs, considering that we are currently living in an era when antibiotics are no longer big money-makers. This dearth of antibiotic innovation means that the strategies drug developers are using to fight bacteria are only slightly different than traditional ones, and bacteria that are already resistant to one antibiotic typically become immune to a whole class of antibiotics. Therefore, it is necessary to pursue global collective action on this cataclysmic issue and come up with new and alternative methods of disease prevention along with improving currents forms of medication.
Day 2 : Promoting Universal Vaccination and Combating Misinformation
Global life expectancy gains resulting from universal immunisation programmes represent one of the greatest achievements of humanity. The irony is that this success can lead to complacency as we forget the morbidity and mortality caused by diseases such as smallpox and polio in the past. Paradoxically, the effectiveness of vaccination has led to the re-emergence of anti-vaccination sentiments. Vaccines may be seen as unnecessary or dangerous because incidence rates of Vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) in developed countries have plummeted. Vaccination prevents 2-3 million deaths globally every year and can prevent a further 1.5 million if global vaccination coverage is improved. Around 20 million infants fail to receive essential childhood vaccines, putting them at risk of diseases and putting their communities and countries at risks of outbreaks. At the global level, lack of access remains the biggest barrier to universal vaccination along with gross misinformation about their effectiveness and side-effects. Vaccine hesitancy, including complacency and lack of confidence and convenience, has been declared by the WHO as one of ten threats to global health in 2019. In this era, the media plays a large role in disseminating and sensationalizing vaccine objections. Such objections are part of what has been called the “anti-vaccination movement”, which has had a demonstrable impact on vaccination policies, and individual and community health. To tackle this problem efficiently, we must address the multiple barriers to vaccination, including rights, regulations and accessibility, availability, quality and convenience of vaccination services; social and cultural norms, values and support; individual motivation, attitudes, and knowledge and skills. Thus, it is necessary for the various governments to work together for ways to counter vaccine hesitancy at the population level, including transparency in policy-making decisions regarding vaccination programs, providing education and information to the public and health providers about the rigorous process that leads to approval of new vaccines and diversified post-marketing surveillance of vaccine-related events.