UKZN’s Medical students, Kapil Narain (fifth year) and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman (first year), presented their innovative solution to healthcare to a panel of International Experts in Geneva.

The students – who earlier presented their intervention at a conference on Antibiotic Stewardship and Conservation in Africa – are developing a mobile app to improve patient compliance to medication.

‘Given that patient non-compliance to medication is a significant contributor to antimicrobial resistance, Mohamed and I have designed an innovative approach using cellphone based technology to send automated reminders via text messages to patients to take their medication on time. This mobile health intervention seeks to improve patient compliance to treatment, thereby significantly reducing antimicrobial resistance,’ said Narain.

‘This system works in a patient specific manner as patients will receive these reminders at specific time-points with instructions on how to take their medication, as per their prescription,’ added Suleman.

The duo wasselected by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to present their strategic intervention to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) to an international panel of experts.

‘Mohamed and I are fortunate for having been given such a prestigious opportunity to present at an international platform. Being recognised by such global giants in healthcare is something for us to be proud of and hold in the highest esteem. Meeting and engaging with leading experts in the field of public health was an exhilarating experience,’ said Narain.

A diversely organised panel of scientists from various fields such as public health, infectious diseases, epidemiology, behavioural scientists, communication experts, and implementation strategists listened to the pair’s solution, giving them feedback on how to further refine their proposal.

Narain and Suleman are grateful for having visited the WHO Headquarters in Geneva. The two also had the prestigious opportunity of meeting and speaking with the organisation’s Assistant Director General, Dr Hanan Balkhy, who      congratulated them on their outstanding work. She also expressed her joy at discovering that there are passionate youth determined to find solutions to solving growing global challenges.

Narain and Suleman are honoured for having been in the company of some of the world’s highest healthcare and decision making authorities.

Caption: From left: Mr Kapil Narain; WHO Assistant DG, Dr Hanan Balkhy; and Mr Mohamed Hoosen Suleman.

Author: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied