Good Use Of Medication: African Synergy Educates Students

The digital phase of the programme that started in 2006 was launched yesterday in some schools in Yaounde.

Statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that 30 to 70 per cent of medicines sold in Africa are counterfeit as well as over 40 per cent of anti-material drugs whose control could have prevented nearly 200,000 deaths a year. With such observation and considering the importance in the rational use of medicine, African Synergy Against HIV and AIDS and LEEM (Les Entreprises du Médicament) based in France yesterday, January 17, 2017 at the Government Bilingual High School in Yaounde launched the digital version of the education programme for the Proper Usage of Medication known in its French acronym as BUM for the benefit of students in secondary schools in the City of Yaounde.

While launching the programme in the presence of LEEM’s Director of International Operations, Pierre Savart, the Executive Secretary of African Synergy Against HIV and AIDS, Jean Stéphane Biatcha recalled the journey of BUM which started on May 15, 2005 in Geneva when the First Lady of Cameroon, Mrs Chantal Biya made an appeal to pharmaceutical companies who had gathered to discuss access to quality drugs. The positive impact of the programme over 10 years has encouraged African Synergy and its partners to switch BUM to a digital version in which a website and a USB key which contains didactic material on the proper use of drugs and the dangers of using illicit drugs has been made available to some schools in Yaounde. Pierre Savart explained that information in the USB key is same like that on the website.

The digital version of BUM is divided into seven chapters and three themes.  The first theme is on when an individual is sick, followed by how to consume quality medicines, where to find and buy quality medicines and why drugs should be taken in a controlled manner. The USB key carries a trainer’s booklet, the student’s booklet and cartoon strips which are easily downloaded and allow an instant interactivity of the learner with the learning tool through a knowledge test added to the tools.  After the launch of the programme, African Synergy will not only move on to sensitise students and freely distribute didactic materials but will also focus on training supervisors of multimedia centres and nurses for a better appropriation of the programme. The first phase of the digital version targets some 46,000 students in some 299 schools in Yaounde and Douala.

In its initial phase, BUM was successfully carried out in primary schools in Cameroon (2006-2007), before spreading to Burkina Faso (2008 and 2010), and Guinea (2012) and Niger (2015).

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