Our AMR-Champions: Meet Yegela Waya who has reached 400 school children in Tabora region-Tanzania as part of the AMR Balozi Campaign

With a main aim to raise antimicrobial resistance (AMR) awareness to the society, the Roll Back Antimicrobial Resistance Initiative (RBA Initiative) support young people’s innovative ideas to seek ways to contain AMR through its ambassadors who have been trained during their time in school while attending the RBA Initiative-AMR School Clubs.

Guided by the country’s policies, guidelines and eligibility the AMR ambassadors were able to voice their concerns, aspirations and recommendations in the context of the AMR to their fellow students, youth and community members.

The RBA-Initiative succeeded in providing support, opportunities and guidance to the ambassadors to participate in awareness-raising campaigns, thus providing them with a platform for dialogue and knowledge-sharing.

Mr.Yegela Waya, a former RBA Initiative AMR Club member who is now an AMR ambassador, conducted phone interview with the RBA Initiative.

Waya had a lot to say about his experience with the AMR-Balozi campaign, and as an agent of change, he educated 400 school children in the Tabora region of Tanzania about superbugs. Learn more about his role as a change maker below.

 “My name is Yegela Waya, and I am a 20-year-old Tabora resident. I was able to reach two primary schools (one rural and one urban) as well as 11 homes around my neighborhood. The RBA Initiative AMR school club has aided me in gaining AMR knowledge and passing it on to others who are in need. For example, irrational use of medicines is a very practical issue in Tabora. I used to see people self-medicate, but I was never aware of AMR until I joined RBA Initiative’s AMR School Club. When I had a fever in the past, I would just go to the drugstore and buy medicine, but now I go to the hospital and get checked out and prescribed medication based on my illness. Now that I am fully aware of AMR and its causes and consequences, I take my time to educate people about this issue because I believe there is no reason for them not to be aware and acquire this knowledge because it was provided to me free of charge and without self-interest.”

“When I visited my village, I discovered that the majority of the people share antibiotics and use them without seeking medical advice. I was able to educate my family, and some practices have changed, such as visiting a health centre for a diagnosis and taking medications on time. You know, a person may be educated, but there are some things about which he or she is unable to reason, such as when a person is given instructions on how to use medicines, but fails to follow the instructions, such as finishing the dose.”  Yegela emphasized!

Moreover, Yegela had an opportunity to get positive feedback regarding his efforts as an AMR champion.  ‘’When I returned to one of the schools that I had previously visited in order to show them the photos that we had taken together during the AMR session, one of the students approached me and said, "Just the other day, my young brother was ill, and I told my parents to take him to the hospital instead of self-medicating." I emphasized to the student the importance of maintaining a positive attitude; as you can see, as long as you tell people about it, they will take appropriate actions.”

As an empowered club member, Yegela sensitized that the AMR campaigns must be progressive for the future generation so as to save many lives. “The Balozi campaign must be progressive because it benefits the community and the country by raising awareness and knowledge about AMR. Through the AMR balozi campaign I was able to reach 400 primary school children in Tabora, Tanzania.’’

Learn more about the AMR balozi campaign via

 https://rbainitiative.or.tz/reading?article=projects&identity=25

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