Inauguration of ASPIC club and launch of website, held at Mar Thoma College Thiruvalla on 30th April 2018
The inauguration of the first ASPIC (Antibiotic Stewardship and Prevention of Infection in Communities) Club was held at Mar Thoma College, Thiruvalla, India, on 30th April 2018. It was a small ceremony attended by around 25 students of the college, who took a pledge to fight the growing menace of antimicrobial resistance.
The gathering was welcomed by Hareesh Radhakrishnan, Assistant Professor of the School of Biosciences, Mar Thoma College. Dr Philip Mathew, Consultant, ReAct Asia Pacific, gave an outline of the ASPIC club initiative and the possible ways in which this student club can help in preventing antibiotic misuse and antimicrobial resistance. Dr Mathew Koshy Punnakkad, eminent environmentalist and Director of the CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns, inaugurated the ASPIC club and also launched the website of the initiative. Dr Thomas Mathew, Director of the School of Biosciences, released the logo of the ASPIC club. Mr Lijo Cyril, Junior Consultant, ReAct Asia Pacific, thanked the participants for their wholehearted cooperation.
The initiative is meant to stimulate interest in the students, to take active action on antimicrobial resistance. This is being done as a pilot project to see whether the success of ‘Red Ribbon clubs’ in HIV care, can be replicated in the domain of AMR also.
New ASPIC club at PGM College, Kangazha, India
A new ASPIC (Antibiotic Stewardship and Prevention of Infection in Communities) club was established at PGM College, Kangazha, India, under the aegis of their department of Microbiology. The club was established as a part of ReAct Asia Pacific's initiative to engage university students on the issue of antibiotic misuse and antimicrobial resistance.
The inauguration was held on 20th June 2018, at the auditorium of PGM College. The function was attended by over 100 students, from various departments of the college. The gathering was welcomed by Ms Christa Biju, the incoming student president of the ASPIC club at PGM College. Dr Philip Mathew, Consultant, ReAct Asia Pacific, gave an overview of the club's activities and the reason why it was established. He also gave a small presentation on the evolution of antibiotic resistance and ways in which students can help to mitigate this problem. Prof CA Abraham, Principal of the college, inaugurated the club and encouraged students to take active part in its activities. He also asked the students to take interest in co-curricular activities, as they can improve their soft skills only through interactions like this. Ms Jeen Abraham, Head of the department of Microbiology, addressed the audience and thanked ReAct for initiating this unique programme. The inaugural event concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr Lijo Cyril, Junior Consultant, ReAct Asia Pacific.
ASPIC Club inauguration at Bishop Kurialacherry College for Women, Kottayam, India
Bishop Kurialacherry (BK) College for Women, Kottayam, India, is one of the premier women’s college in this part of the country. Established more than half a century back, it has grown to become one of the most sought after institution by students across the state. On 13th July 2018, an ASPIC club was inaugurated at BK College at a glittering ceremony attended by over 300 students.
Dr Lincy Sara Varghese, Assistant Professor of Microbiology, welcomed the gathering. Dr Philip Mathew, Consultant, ReAct Asia Pacific, gave an overview about the mandate of the clubs and also the threat of antimicrobial resistance. Dr Leena Mathew, Principal of BK College, inaugurated the club by lighting the ceremonial lamp. She encouraged the students to participate in such activities as it can improve their inter-personal skills and also provide fresh ideas in the fight against AMR. She said that AMR is now a global health priority and the community should be aware about the gravity of the situation. Mr Lijo Cyril, Junior Consultant of ReAct Asia Pacific, thanked all those who participated in the inaugural function.
The inaugural function was followed by screening of a short video on AMR titled “Antibiotic resistance: A grim future”. This 12 minute video was prepared by ReAct Asia Pacific, in the local language Malayalam.
ASPIC clubs respond to the devastating floods in the state of Kerala
Kerala was battered by a prolonged spell of heavy rain and many areas suffered from devastating floods. ASPIC clubs are in the process of organizing various relief efforts, particularly focusing on preventing infections/outbreaks in the aftermath of the floods. We have published a flyer (in Malayalam) containing the best practices which can prevent communicable diseases usually found in the region.
New ASPIC Club at Sree Ayyappa College, Eramallikkara, India
The ASPIC club initiative of ReAct Asia Pacific has received a new member- Sree Ayyappa College, Eramallikkara, India. This college is one of the handful of higher educational institutions in Alleppey District; and has multiple science and applied science courses. In a short period of time, the college has attracted top class faculty and the best of students, through its innovative teaching programmes and strong industry connect.
The club was formally inaugurated on 8th October 2018, at a glittering ceremony held at the college. The gathering of students and faculty members were welcomed by Dr Ganga G, Assistant Professor of Microbiology. Dr Nitha B, Head of the department of biochemistry and industrial microbiology, presided over the ceremony. The club was inaugurated by Dr KS Anilkumar, Principal of Sree Ayyappa College. He encouraged the students to take part in the activities of the club; and said that initiatives like this are for the greater public good. He also highlighted the need to device strategies on tackling antimicrobial resistance. Felicitations were offered by Dr N Madhavan and Dr Rejiya CS. A seminar on the topic 'Need for building Consumer Awareness on AMR" was led by Dr Philip Mathew, Consultant, ReAct Asia Pacific. The seminar dealt with patient safety issues, healthcare associated infections, antibiotics in food production and environmental contamination due to antimicrobials. Mr Lijo Cyril, Junior Consultant of ReAct Asia Pacific, thanked the gathering and hoped that the club will be successful.
The ASPIC club at Sree Ayyappa College is already planning activities in the form of medical camps, poster competitions etc, aimed at increasing the community awareness on antibiotic misuse and antimicrobial resistance.
Sensitization session for school students, organised by ASPIC club of PGM College
The ASPIC Club of PGM College organised an activity titled “Lecture on infection control & Antibiotic Resistance” on 28th September 2018. The programme was organised in association with Biocoenosis- Department of microbiology association at PGM College. The participants were welcomed by Prof Jeen Abraham, Staff secretary of ASPIC club & Head of the department of Microbiology. Prof CA Abraham, Principal of PGM College, addressed the audience and encouraged students to take initiative for such ventures. He said that they can achieve qualitative development & professional growth through such activities. Ms Christa Biju, the student president of ASPIC club led the lecture on Infection Control & Antibiotic Resistance for fellow students. The club members also organised a sensitization session for the students of Baseliose Higher Secondary School, Kangazha.
Mr Lijo Cyril, Junior Consultant, ReAct Asia Pacific, felicitated the programme and appreciated the management and members of ASPIC club at PGM College for taking the initiative regarding hygiene practices, prevention of communicable diseases and antibiotic resistance. Ms. Amila Saju the student secretary of ASPIC club thanked all the participants all those who participated in the seminar. The programme was a success due to the extensive involvement of students and the enthusiasm shown by all the participants.
Inauguration of ASPIC Club and seminar on environmental perspectives on AMR, at CMS College Kottayam, India
ASPIC club network is expanding at a rapid pace; and the latest entrant is CMS College Kottayam. Established in 1817, the college is considered to be one of the oldest western-style colleges in India. The college has a glorious history and it has produced luminaries in various domains.
The inauguration of the ASPIC club at the college was held on 12th October 2018, under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology. Dr Jinu John, Assistant Professor of Biotechnology, welcomed the faculty and students to the inaugural function. Dr Unnikrishnan N, Professor and Head of Biotechnology, presided over the function and highlighted the contemporary nature of the mandate of the club. The formal inauguration of the club was done by Dr Roy Sam Daniel, Principal of CMS College. He advised the students to actively take part in such activities, as it can help them in understanding the nature of problems and also apply their academic knowledge.
The seminar on environmental perspectives of AMR, was led by Prof Mathew Koshy Punnakkad, eminent environmentalist and Director of CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns. An introduction to the ASPIC club initiative was given by Dr Philip Mathew, Consultant, ReAct Asia Pacific. Mr Lijo Cyril, Junior Consultant of ReAct Asia Pacific, thanked the gathering. The vibrant nature of the crowd and the enthusiasm of the students were evident from the lively post-seminar interaction, where many questions came up for discussion.
Inauguration of ASPIC Club and Seminar on Antibiotic Resistance, at Mar Augusthinose College Ramapuram
Yet another ASPIC club was inaugurated, with Mar Augusthinose College, Ramapuram, India, joining the bandwagon. The inaugural ceremony was held on 24th October 2018 at the institution’s campus in Ramapuram, Kottayam Dist, Kerala. The inaugural ceremony was accompanied by a seminar on Antimicrobial Resistance, for the benefit of all biosciences students of the college.
The audience was welcomed by Mrs.Sheena John and she gave an introduction about the relevance of the subject. She promised all the support for the implementation of ASPIC club initiative at the institution. Dr Sajesh Kumar NK, Professor and Head of Biotechnology at the college, presided over the function and remarked that such kind of initiatives generate great influence on the society to follow good health habits. He also highlighted the importance of antibiotics and the significance of creating awareness on antibiotic resistance among general public and youngsters. Dr Joseph VJ, Principal of Mar Augusthinose College, formally inaugurated the ASPIC Club initiative at the college. He encouraged the students to participate in such kind of initiatives as it promotes community based intervention to overcome issues facing the society. He also congratulated ReAct Asia Pacific on launching such efforts and hoped that the students will utilize the ASPIC club platform effectively. Dr Philip Mathew, Consultant, ReAct Asia Pacific, gave an introduction to ASPIC club initiative and its concept to participants. Dr Philip also outlined the reasons behind antibiotic resistance and its impact on the society. He also gave examples of the importance of proper usage of antibiotics as the world is running out of effective antibiotics to fight infections. He emphasized that establishment of ASPIC clubs in educational institutions should increase the awareness level of infection prevention, antibiotic abuse, antibiotics in food and antibiotic resistance among students as well as general public. Lijo Cyril thanked all the participants and delegates for their time and interest. He said that ASPIC Club initiative has a significant role in the society for limiting antibiotic resistance. He also mentioned the role of students in generating awareness on antibiotic abuse and infection prevention methods in the broader society.
ASPIC Club of Mar Thoma College celebrated World AIDS Day
The ASPIC club and Biosciences Association of Mar Thoma College, Thiruvalla, commemorated the World AIDS day on 30th November 2018. Dr Icy K John, Principal of the college, officially inaugurated the event. Prof Happy Krishnan, President, Biosciences Association and Prof Harish R, Faculty Adviser, ASPIC club, also spoke at the event which was held at Mar Thoma College campus. After the inaugural session, Red Ribbons were distributed around the campus and among general public, to increase the awareness about HIV/AIDS. As an international symbol of AIDS awareness, the students and staff of Mar Thoma College wore the Red Ribbon throughout the day in order to extend solidarity and support to those people living with HIV. Further, a flash mob, mime, quiz and a slogan writing competition was also organised for the students. The programmes benefited the students of the college, apart from those living near to the institution.
Another ASPIC club Inaugurated at SN College, Kumarakom, India
The ASPIC club initiative of ReAct Asia Pacific has inaugurated the 7th such club at Sree Narayana College, Kumarakom, India. This college is situated near the Vembanad backwaters and the Kumarakom bird sanctuary- both internationally acclaimed tourist destinations. The college is relatively new, but has managed to become one of the most sought after higher educational institutions in the region through its investments in academic excellence.
The club was formally inaugurated on 20th December 2018, at a ceremony held at the college campus. The gathering of students and faculty members were welcomed by Reenamol S, Head of the department of Biotechnology. Shri M Madhu, Manager of the college, presided over the ceremony. The club was inaugurated by Lt Dr GP Sudheer Principal of SN College Kumarakom. He encouraged the students to take part in the activities of the club; and said that initiatives like this can link the scientific community to the broader society. He also highlighted the need to device strategies on tackling antimicrobial resistance. Felicitations was offered by Surabhi Muthu, Asst Professor, Department of English. A seminar on the topic “Antibiotic Resistance: A global public health issue" was led by Dr Philip Mathew, Consultant, ReAct Asia Pacific. The seminar dealt with patient safety issues, healthcare associated infections, antibiotics in food production and environmental contamination due to antimicrobials. Mr Lijo Cyril, Junior Consultant of ReAct Asia Pacific, thanked the gathering and hoped that the club will be successful.