Combating antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
We are not just writing policies on a piece of paper; drug-resistant infections change people’s lives. After a car accident and several years of surgeries, I survived the challenge of a drug-resistant infection due to Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that nearly cost me my face. From this experience, I gained knowledge about antibiotics, how they should be used, and the potential harm they can cause. This information was not readily available, so I decided in 2013 to advocate about raising awareness of antibiotic resistance and to help raise voices of advocacy globally. After working in marketing for 18 years, I founded hcsmSA which is an acronym for Healthcare Communications and Social Media South Africa. #hcsmSA started as a Twitter chat with a group of diverse stakeholders and later evolved into providing capacity building to not only patients and civil society organizations but also medical professionals and public health researchers so they could use tools like social media to engage with patients and the public effectively. The inclusion of the patient voice is critical in the fight against AMR which is why it’s important to engage them. Because all of us need to be resistance fighters.