Antimicrobial Resistance Initiative
With Lord Verjee’s deep and enduring ties to East Africa and longstanding support for pioneering medical research, The Foundation is excited to take on the greatest medical challenge of the 21st Century, which is already affecting some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Antimicrobial resistance, largely due to the overexposure of crucial antibiotic medicines in farms and homes, accounts for 700,000 deaths every year worldwide. If allowed to go unhindered, drug resistant infections could kill as many as 10 million people annually by 2050 according to the UN.
The problem is already complicating the fight against serious conditions such as HIV and Malaria and risks many common treatable diseases such as pneumonia and urinary tract infections, becoming increasingly fatal.
Tanzanian Pharmacist, Erick Venant founded the Roll Back Antimicrobials Resistance (RBA) Initiative while studying at university, to raise awareness and promote the correct use of prescription, over-the-counter and agricultural drugs within local communities in Tanzania.
Covering a mix of urban and rural regions across the country, RBA encourages life-saving behavioural change through local radio and community groups, and provides training for schools, leaders and policy makers.
Simplifying the often complex science is no easy task but RBA are able to communicate the issue in a way that people can understand, put into action in their everyday lives and pass on to their friends and neighbours. The Initiative has reached over 3.9 million people across Tanzania via local broadcasting, and provided tailored workshops for over 1,700 local leaders, and 49,000 students and teachers in 114 secondary schools.
As they continue to raise awareness in Tanzania, they have big ambitions for the region – teaming up with likeminded groups in neighbouring countries to save countless more lives.
The Rumi Foundation, in partnership with the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, is proud to support the RBA Initiative and its mission to inform and protect some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.