Antibiotic-resistant superbugs have become a global epidemic, and UF College of Pharmacy students are trying to fix that.
In order to fight the issue, the World Health Organization created World Antibiotic Week to spread awareness and information to health professionals, students and patients. It runs from Monday to Sunday.
UF’s Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists and International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation, two organizations within the pharmacy school, have joined the national movement and planned a series of three events for the week. It is the first time the groups are participating, said Daniel Wong, one of the event organizers and a UF pharmacy student.
Wong said he hopes people will learn more about proper antibiotic use.
“It’s not just a pharmacy thing, it’s a people thing,” Wong said. “It’s something everyone should be aware of.”
Wong said the groups hosted Charles Peloquin, one of the national experts on infectious diseases, Monday to speak about therapeutic drug monitoring. Therapeutic drug monitoring ensures patients get the appropriate level of a drug in their system, regardless of dosage, Wong said. About 50 students attended the event.
“It was really cool to have him speak,” Wong, a 26-year-old UF pharmacy student, said. “He’s a consultant for the (Federal Drug Administration) and (Center for Disease Control).”
Wong and his co-organizer, Alex Branton, planned an antibiotic-themed game of Jeopardy for pharmacy students Wednesday and a speaking event Friday with UF Health Shands Hospital infectious disease resident Kayihura Manigaba.
“We’re trying to keep students engaged on the topic and make it a little fun,” Wong said.
Both organizers said they hope their efforts with World Antibiotic Week will create a larger impact.
“With the increasing prevalence of the health concerns in the community with antibiotic resistance, we think this is a great thing that can be pushed going forward,” Branton, 24, said.