On 14-15 September 2021, the AMR regional hub in Bangkok, Thailand in collaboration with the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit and Oxford Clinical Research Unit Vietnam, hosted a two-day online workshop, inviting researchers working in social sciences, ethics, public engagement, and epidemiology related to AMR in Asia to share research findings and/or research plans.
It was an interactive meeting, consisting of a series of short presentations (two sessions over two days) followed by an optional one-hour online brainstorming session (on Day 2 after the main meeting) with a focus on identifying research gaps, prioritizing a research agenda, and brainstorming ideas for potential future funding applications. At its peak, it had 80 participants from all over the world.
The workshop was divided into four themed sessions: dispensing and use, community engagement, antibiotic policy and stewardship, and one health. There were three 10-min talks per session followed by a discussion.
The breakout groups at the end of the workshop followed the above themes. Participants identified research gaps around each of these themes relevant in Asia. These included the impact of COVID on dispensing, how to embed public/community voices in national action plans, and what are the most effective community engagement strategies.
It is clear that AMR is not exclusively a biological phenonema. It is also a social, behavioural and societal issue.