By Caprise Perrineau, CHAIM Centre

The Student HEALtH Challenge, held on Saturday, March. 18th, 2017, was the day we determined who would win the $1000 investment with Kiva and the opportunity to bring to life their strategy to tackling antibiotic resistance (AMR).

The winners of the Student Health Challenge include members of Group B: Lara Witt (University of Saskatchewan), Saruul Uuganbayar (University of Saskatchewan), Olivia D’Silva (Carleton University), Veronique Poulin (Carleton University) and Devin Young (Michigan State University). Their comprehensive and thorough strategy coupled with a fantastic animated video was the clear, concise and practical approach to global health issue, is what I believe was their key to success.

One of the Group B’s most important recommendations was to increase the awareness and discussion surrounding AMR. This is particularly important to evoke a sense of urgency in the public, using existing variety of social media platforms to access diverse populations quickly and frequently.

The most innovative ideas, and what I felt would be the most effective, was the creation of an app or software to track AMR using geographic location and also suggest organizing multiple international scholarships incentivising non-governmental organizations, and student groups to develop innovative, creative and probable ways to contain and control antibiotic resistance.

Overall, this project was a fantastic way for students to develop innovative solutions to intricate and complicated universal issues.

When asked what she felt was the most important thing she learned from the challenge, Veronique from Carleton University stressed, “… the importance of incorporating every group member’s perspective, in order to create an innovative and comprehensive final solution.”

It is true that many believe the collaboration of students at different professional levels and varied disciplinary backgrounds led to a well- rounded and thorough strategy.

Lara from the University of Saskatchewan said, “Placing our suggestions into an animated video made them aesthetic and engaging for the audience.”

This is particularly important for global leaders currently tackling major issues. We must ensure their work is translatable and understandable for lay people, as well as eye catching and engaging as Lara stated. An engaging presentation ensures that people will stick around and listen to what is said, they have to care about these issues in order for them to pass information along to their peers.

So two main themes to take away from the project: 1) assemble a team of people from varied professional levels, varied interests and disciplines and 2) Ensure information is universally understandable.

Finally, it is our hope the One Health perspective is adopted by people around the globe and the Student Health Challenge becomes common place in educational and research institutions as both lead to a more collaborative and ­­well versed world.

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