Karnival Mesra Ubat (KaMU) is an annual health promotion programme organised by CUCMS Pharmacy Student Society (CUPSS) and this year, it was in collaboration with Majlis Perbandaran Sepang (MPS) and Majlis Pengurusan Komuniti Kampung (MPKK) Kampung Jenderam Hilir, Sepang, Selangor.
Shaking off misconceptions on antibiotics is an integral point of antibiotic stewardship. Antibiotics have been long believed as a cure to all sorts of infection, however, antibiotics are not a fail-proof solution. Improving community awareness and belief play a large role in empowering individuals to be the driver of their own health; including understanding the presence or absence of antibiotic therapy in the management of their current illness.
Such was the goal of the community outreach programme conducted by students from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS). Karnival Mesra Ubat (KaMU) is an annual health promotion programme organised by CUCMS Pharmacy Student Society (CUPSS) and this year, it was in collaboration with Majlis Perbandaran Sepang (MPS) and Majlis Pengurusan Komuniti Kampung (MPKK) Kampung Jenderam Hilir, Sepang, Selangor. The health carnival was held at Kampung Jenderam Hilir, Dengkil, Selangor early last month and saw involvement from the Ministry of Health (MoH), Pharmaniaga Berhad, Skim Peduli Sihat Selangor and Persatuan Mencegah Dadah Malaysia (PEMADAM). CUCMS collaborated with the Government and Pharmaceuticals companies to tackle the misuse of antibiotics and to educate the community on the role and importance of antibiotics for the patients. There were information booths and free health screenings provided at the event. Past years KaMU programmes have been conducted in several states throughout Malaysia such as Sabah, Kedah, Malacca, Perak and Pahang.
Antibiotic resistance was one of the main issues addressed during this programme. Resistance to antibiotics arise when a certain bacteria type acquire physical and functional changes to overcome antibiotics mechanism of action in treating infections. Worldwide, multiple-resistant organisms in on the rise and Malaysia is not spared from this alarming trend. The antibiotic awareness exhibition aimed to expose the cause of antibiotic resistance and promote the correct use of antibiotics to the public to prevent unnecessary antibiotic use and misuse which directly contribute to the rise in resistant bacteria. Nurasyikin binti Zainudin, a year 3 student and the KaMU Programme Director said “As a pharmacy student, we learn about antibiotic resistance in class and it is important for the community to understand it too”.
Every year, KaMU provides a platform for pharmacy students to forge closer ties with the local communities, and understand their health needs and belief, to make for a better profession later when they enter the workforce. On top of awareness on antibiotic resistance, the theme ‘Right Medications, Live Well’ also emphasised on the urgency of making lifestyle changes in combating chronic diseases and common infections, smoking cessation, awareness on halal pharmaceuticals and on substance abuse. Additionally, ‘Kenali Ubat Anda’ exhibition supported and led by registered pharmacists from the Ministry of Health was also conducted to educate the public on taking their medications rationally as well as able to differentiate between registered and counterfeit drugs. The event attracted more than 100 visitors from Kampung Jenderam Hilir and neighbouring villages.
During KaMU, home visits by registered pharmacists and pharmacy students were also conducted to provide appropriate bits of advice with regards to the proper use and storage of the medications at the convenience of the patient’s own home. Advisor to the programme, Assistant Professor Madam Shairyzah Ahmad Hisham, Deputy Dean of Student Affairs and Networking, Faculty of Pharmacy said “CUCMS strongly believes that students’ participation in volunteer activities such as KaMU is crucial to nourish desired soft skills such as communication and critical thinking skills on top of to better equip the students to be competent and community-friendly future pharmacists.”
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