#SHARE MEMES, NOT ANTIBIOTICS, PROCLAIM PHARMACY STUDENTS FROM UON

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Pharmacy Students from the University of Nairobi flooded the streets of Nairobi in a fun filled campaign to create awareness on the proper use of medication and the progressing bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The students marched from their school singing rhymes created and fanned by the need at the moment. The resounding magnitude of their chants could be heard echoing back from the towers along the roads they chose to follow.

“WHO ARE WE?” Their charismatic leader asked,

“WE ARE PHARMACISTS!!!!” The Masses replied,

“SENSITIZING?”

“ANTIBIOTIC RESSISTANCE!!!!!!”

“STOP WHAT?”

“SELF MEDICATION!!!”

“THE MORE YOU USE?”

“THE MORE WE LOSE!!!”

“SHARE MEMES…”

“NOT ANTIBIOTICS!!!”

And the chanting continued without an end. The campaign that was fully organized by the student leadership was flagged off by the Dean School of Pharmacy, Dr. Sinei, the student leader patron Dr. Ndwigah and the department head Dr. Shital who all commended the students for standing in the gap and coming together to bring a worthy cause into fruition. The Student’s Secretary General, Nadab Amolo Chakra informed the participants that the success of the entire event was hinged upon the commitment of the students to donate materials necessary to run the course of the walk while the reputation of the most peaceful university rested on the conduct portrayed by members on such occasions.

To mark the start of the walk, the media and publicity took a general picture of the staff and students before the first session of the campaign was rolled out. The participants upon request, complied to take pictures with their smart phones while the media fired away furiously before posting them on the various social media platforms, tweeting, retweeting and sharing widely under several hash tags including #UONANTIMICROBIALRESSISTANCEWALK, #BACTERIAMUSTFALL, #SHAREMEMESNOTANTIBIOTICS. The aim of this exercise, the SG confirmed, is to reach as many people as humanly possible, with the tools that technology has provided, we also have to look good while at it.

The procession that was covered by a diligent traffic police officer, whose identity remain private upon his request, snaked through the Hospital then poured into Ngong’ road. The sing-song continued with students interacting with members of the public, creating awareness on the cause of the walk and cautioning passersby on the cost of medication abuse, “honestly, the more you use medications without proper directives from trained health professionals, the more people we lose” a student was heard saying, “Medications, in the wrong hands are poison!” another student cautioned. It is at this time that the chants took a turn to a better and interactive Swahili dialect

“AMOXYL SI YA HOMA!!!!” To mean that Amoxyl, an antibiotic does not cure common cold and,

“FLAGYL SI YA SHIDA ZOTE ZA TUMBO!!!!” translating to, metronidazole is not the answer to all your stomach problems.

The zeal and enthusiasm of the students could not be quenched even by the scorching sun or busy roads. The walk took a turn towards Daystar University then to the round-about at DOD before flowing down Valley Road.

The students, amidst their chants and spurts of educational momentums, waved Manila paper colorfully drawn by the students themselves, with bold messages clear for all who can read. One placard read, “ANTIBIOTICS ARE FAILING, WINTER IS COMING!!!” while the next boldly proclaimed, “ANTIBIOTICS ARE NOT CANDIES, DO NOT SHARE WITH FAMILY!!” the students at the rear brandished their weapons of mass education that dictated, “FEVER IS NOT A SIGN OF CEFTRIAXONE DEFICIENCY!!!”

Traffic came into a standstill as the students slowly mad their way past All Saints Cathedral, where a burst of new songs and chants were formed and sung in jubilation for the journey half completed,

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“USIJITIBU!!!!”

“TUTAKUTIBU!!!”

“NA TUKIKUTIBU?”

“MALIZA DAWA!!!!”

(Don’t treat yourselves, we shall treat you, and when we treat you, do finish the doses)

At Milimani Law Courts, onlookers marveled at the performance standards being set by the students at the top notch University in Kenya. Sweat trickling down faces, tired to the bone, still, the students were unbowed, proclaiming the gospel of their truth to whoever cared to listen. Shouting their voices sore without the aid from voice amplifiers, dancing to the music of their unanimous message.

The walk came to an end at the school of Pharmacy, with the Secretary General thanking the various members who worked the extra mile to make the day a success.

The NOTE from the SG,

I would like to thank the school administration, the Kenya Police service, fellow student leaders and the Pharmacy students from the University of Nairobi who did everything within their power to make the walk a success.

It is my hope that a good number of people took the message we have seriously and many lives were put out of risk. It is my hope that the commitment shown by the students will remain in the events to come. I am proud today, to be a leader of strong young men and beautiful young women with a purpose and a passion to pursue it. They understand that pushing the levers of change does not require millions, instead of printed t-shirts, they came with white student lab coats, instead of printed Banners, they took time to design beautiful messages from scratch over manila paper and instead of voice amplifiers, they screamed their throats dry, all for the benefit of a young mother splitting a drug dose amongst her young family or the man of the house throwing the rest of his medication the moment they feel relief.

Nadab Amolo

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