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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135

Abstract

GOFF, D A  and  VAN DEN BERGH, D. Twitter: A tool to improve healthcare professionals' awareness of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2015, vol.105, n.5, pp. 421-421. ISSN 2078-5135.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/SAMJ.9648.

The World Health Organization urges international collaboration for the containment of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) or 'superbugs'. If left unchecked, AMR could result in 4.1 million deaths in Africa by 2050. Furthermore, without effective antibiotics, surgical procedures would become much riskier and in many cases impossible. Antimicrobial stewardship requires a multidisciplinary approach; however, many programmes still struggle to achieve the 'reach' required to educate and engage all healthcare providers (HCPs). Twitter use among South Africans has grown by 129% in 12 months, from 2.4 million to 5.5 million. HCPs can use Twitter to network and connect with worldwide experts, obtain real-time news from medical conferences, participate in live Twitter chats conducted by experts or medical organisations, or participate in international journal clubs. Used responsibly and professionally, Twitter can spread the call to action and connect frontline healthcare professionals to help win the battle against AMR.

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