GRIP initiatives and getting antibiotic resistance on the global radar
Figure 1: Factors influencing the global status of antibiotic resistance
Following a number of global initiatives, GRIP has helped in successfully placing antibiotic resistance on the radar. GRIP recognises that the challenge is to maintain this presence and sustain strategies for its containment. Principles of the WHO 2014 draft global action plan that supports GRIP’s presented objectives were summarised: whole-of-society engagement, prevention first, access not excess, sustainability, and incremental targets for implementation. It was noted, however, there would be difficultly ensuring that every member state commits and, while some countries may be ready to implement an action plan, others do not have a strategic framework or protocols in place.
One particular aim of GRIP is to effect behaviour change regarding people’s attitudes to AMR. The Group notes that effecting change, large or small, in some countries will be challenging; however, GRIP can provide a “multi-pronged attack” since its many initiatives are international and can target multiple audiences says Dr Duerden. GRIP materials are particularly beneficial as they recommend an alternative to antibiotics, notes Dr Burgoyne – it is much easier to engender a behavioural shift when there is another option.
In order to maintain focus, Professor Essack highlights the need for sustained, innovative messages resulting in the behavioural change GRIP is trying to induce; it is important to be consistent, but to keep interest by reiterating the same message differently every time. However, work needs to be carried out to determine how to get these messages across; there is a need for both simple translation of current materials into more languages, but also innovative tactics that challenge the norm, highlighted Dr Pignatari.
On the issue of prevention first, Professor Oxford notes that a better understanding on the viruses that cause the common cold and flu will place GRIP in a better position to educate HCPs and patients and make them more confident in not needing to take antibiotics.