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Interview with Karen Mah from WHO

Karen leads the charge on behaviour change and awareness around AMR at the World Health Organisation. She was involved in Wellcome's early sprint that preceded our project. She is very keen to collaborate on opportunities to bring together 'big picture' approaches that WHO take care of, with human centred experiments/studies on the ground.

Five key outtakes:

1. Relax the science, focus on empathy

"We need interventions that providers can see themselves in. They need to be relatable and human. We've made this issue very sterile. Now, the key building block for success is the human centred approach"

2. Honest acknowledgement

"What's needed is an honest recognition of the situation we're in. We're where tobacco control was in the 60's"

3. Local vs scalable

“New initiatives need to be very contextual to be effective. The challenge is to make solutions that work locally but also have potential for scale"

4. 'Assume good' - show you're on the provider's side

"Red line was an abject failure. It fails to recognise that doctors want to do the right thing, Sometimes they will sell 3 days of AB’s to a person who can’t afford 10, in the hope it tackles some of the infection. That's the right thing to do in their eyes - they are there to help the patient."

5. Make the solution the incentive

“If you want to be successful, you need to consider what the benefit for your prescribers is. What in it for them? How will this put them ahead of the pharmacy across the street?”

In response to a few of our sacrificial ideas:

A - Cough Shazam/An AI supported diagnostic tool
"Accuracy brings patients back. Something like this could be phenomenal, adding confidence to decisions"
B - A pledge to only prescribe when needed
"If this was socially initiated then great. Be careful if this feels government accredited, people may actually trust it less due to bribes"
C - Recovery kit with delayed antibiotics
"I can imagine this would not work in a rural area, but it could work well in an urban, higher socio/economic environment where people may have better access to healthcare and better willingness to delay"
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