Beat Bad Bugs: combating drug resistant infection in Rwanda

Our winning competition entry, Beat Bad Bugs was use to apply for funding awarded by the University of Reading’s GCRF Strategic Fund as a partnership.

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In partnership with The University of Reading, The Rwandan Community Pharmacists Union and The Commonwealth Pharmacy Association this project was aimed at raising awareness of AMR in community pharmacies in Rwanda.

Shortlisted for two awards

• The University of Reading’s Research Engagement and Impact Awards 2019• Antibiotic Guardian Awards 2019

Our goal

In January 2019 Anne Odling Smee travelled to Rwanda with Chloe Tuck from the Commonwealth Pharmacy Association to extend our Beat Bad Bugs work to a Rwandan context.

The workshops aimed to:• develop Beat Bad Bugs to make it relevant in Rwanda by exploring how the environment of local community pharmacies can be used to raise awareness of AMR, and specifically of the misuse of antibiotics. • explore ways of extending the messages to rural communities.

Co-design workshops in Rwanda

Our workshops in Rwanda used principles of co-design to understand how information about AMR could be conveyed in Rwandan community pharmacists.

In workshop 1 in Kigali, we worked with pharmacists, pharmacy students, patients and pharmacy business owners to explore access to antibiotics in Rwanda and the interventions that the attendees thought would be helpful to help prevent the development of AMR.

“Loved everything about this two day workshop. We’ll be thrilled for more like this. Anne & Chloe are just amazing”
“The workshop was very insightful we look forward to a similar one”
“Fantastic workshop.”
“The workshop was amazing”
“The workshop wasn’t boring!”
“Thank you team Design Science and CPA who taught such a productive workshop. Looking forward to the yield.”

Pharmacy visits

Alongside the workshops the visits to community pharmacies, we identified the kinds of messages and material forms relevant to Rwandan community pharmacies and patients.

Design prototypes

As a result of this workshop we produced a set of cards explaining AMR and guidance about how to take antibiotics was produced to assist pharmacists in communicating this to patients. An ‘antibiotic record card’ for patients enabled pharmacists to record details of what was dispensed. The materials were produced in English and Kinyarwanda.

Design review

At a second workshop Design Science’s Manjula Halai travelled to Rwanda with Sue Walker from the University of Reading. We reviewed the materials and developed communication strategies to help pharmacists have conversations with their patients about AMR.

We considered the kinds of illustrations that may help with AMR explanation, and did role play where participants enacted scenarios using the prototype materials to develop communication strategies to discuss AMR in pharmacies.

At a meeting in a village primary school, teachers, children, sports reps and village chiefs gave initial feedback on the ‘antibiotic record card’.

Piloting process

The materials have been piloted in 4 community pharmacies in Kigali, and feedback from these is informed our final set of materials, now in production.

UK workshop

Our third Beat Bad Bugs Rwanda workshop was held in Reading in March 2019. It brought together colleagues from Rwanda representing the University of Rwanda and Rwanda Community Pharmacists Union, the Commonwealth Pharmacy Association, Design Science and academics from numerous disciplines at Reading and other UK universities.

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