20 November 2017
ABS-CBN Dolphy Theater

The Department of Health, along with partner agencies and stakeholders, today launched the National Antibiotic Guidelines in observance of the 2nd World Antibiotic Awareness Week.

“The National Antibiotic Guidelines is aimed to optimize antimicrobial use and help improve the quality of patient care and patient safety,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said, adding that said Guidelines contain treatment recommendations for infectious diseases grouped by organ systems and presented in tabular format for easy reference.

The Guidelines was crafted by the National Antibiotic Guidelines Committee, a multi-disciplinary body chaired by Dr. Mediadora Saniel composed of experts in the field of infectious diseases, epidemiology, pharmacology and public health program management.

This year’s theme “Seek Advice from a Qualified Healthcare Professional Before Taking Antibiotics,” aims to improve people’s understanding on the threats of anti-microbial resistance (AMR) and how each one can contribute to slow down its spread. Participants in these series of events are the healthcare providers in the public and private healthcare facilities, other government agencies, health professional associations, patient groups, academe and students.

Secretary Duque noted that in the recently-concluded 31st ASEAN Summit, all the leaders of the ASEAN member states adopted the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR): Combating AMR through One Health Approach. The drafting and finalization of the Declaration was spearheaded by the Philippines.

The event also highlights the country’s milestones since the Philippines committed to adopt the WHO Six-Point Policy Package in 2011. Among the key accomplishments include the institutionalization of the National Antimicrobial Stewardship Program through the development of the following tools: AMS Manual of Procedures in Hospitals, the Antimicrobial Use Methods Guide and the National Antibiotic Guidelines.

Other ongoing projects are the development of AMS manual for primary care and the AMS training program for specific healthcare providers such as the pharmacists, nurses and medical technologists. Collaboration with the Department of Education   was   also   initiated   to provide AMR information, education and communication materials for the K-12 curriculum and with the Professional Regulation Commission and the Commission on Higher Education to include AMR in the curriculum of the healthcare providers.
Meanwhile, part of the Philippine Antibiotic Awareness Week culminating activity is the awarding of winners of the AMR Jingle-Making Contest where Ms. Christine Terrado and Mr. Mark Pagulayan have been hailed as the grand prize winners. Renewal of pledges to combat AMR has likewise been done before the program ends.

Earlier this month, the DOH National Capital Regional Office hosted the kick-off ceremony on 7 November 2017 at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel. The program included talks on the Overview of Antimicrobial Resistance and the National Antimicrobial Stewardship Program in Hospitals, College Quizbee competition among five pharmacy schools in Manila and a pre-judged AMR Infographics-making contest and the remarkable performance of the DOH NCR pharmacists regarding the rational use of antimicrobials. Select DOH Regional Offices likewise held similar activities in Baguio City for Luzon on 15 November 2017, Cebu City for Visayas on 17 November 2017 and Camiguin for Mindanao on 22-23 November 2017.