Antibiotic resistance and multidrug-resistant organisms (organisms which resistant to multiple types of drugs) have become a threat to the effectiveness of infectious disease prevention and treatment. Inappropriate usage of antibiotics for the organism will develop the organism’s immune mechanism’s ability to resist the antibiotic. As a result, numerous drug-resistant organisms that are resistant to various types of antibiotics have emerged. This was the focus of Prof. Dr. dr. Cucunawangsih, Sp. MK (K), Lecturer of the Faculty of Medicine (FK) Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH), in her inauguration as a Professor of Clinical Microbiology on June 22, 2022, based on the Decree of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemendikbudristek) dated April 1, 2022.
Prof. Cucunawangsih explained that inappropriate antibiotic use was common, in her scientific oration entitled “The Challenges of Implementing Control of Multiple Drug-Resistant Organisms and the Use of Antibiotics in Private Hospitals: Where Are We?” In Indonesia alone, approximately 40-50 percent of prescriptions are not by antibiotic use guidelines or microbiological culture results.
“Excessive and uncontrolled antibiotic use has consequences such as prolonged hospitalization, the emergence of toxicity and drug interactions, increased difficile clostridium infection, death, and morbidity; the emergence of “superbug” organisms such as Klebsiella pneumonia and Escherichia coli that produce beta-lactamases, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, carbapenemase-producing-Enterobacteriaceae which are resistant to almost all types of antibiotics,” he explained.
In response to the existing phenomena, Prof. Cucunawangsih revealed that the implementation of multiple drug-resistant organisms control is based on a tiered control program approach, with clinical microbiology being one of the main aspects involved. As a result, the role of a clinical microbiology specialist is critical.
“The role of a clinical microbiology specialist in the management of infectious diseases in hospitals is not only to improve the clinical microbiology laboratory’s ability to meet standards, but also to provide infectious disease recommendations through good collaboration with clinicians, discussing joint cases, conducting regular clinical guidelines compliance evaluations and the feedback, increasing clinical microbiologists’ involvement in patient treatment related to the diagnosis and infectious diseases, as well as providing data on resistant organisms and their susceptibility,” said Prof. Cucunawangsih.
Prof. Cucunawangsih hopes that antibiotic stewardship will become a top priority for hospitals, doctors, and all parties involved in the health sector. It is hoped that the prevention and control of resistant organisms, particularly multiple drug-resistant organisms, will be realized and that the problems encountered will be minimized.
In response to the Professor’s inauguration, UPH Rector, DR. (Hon) Jonathan L. Parapak, M.Eng., Sc., stated, “It is an honor for us, especially for FK UPH, to be awarded a new professor.” According to the Region III Higher Education Service Institute (LLDIKTI), UPH has been recognized as a private university with the newest professors in the last two years. “I hope there will be more professors to demonstrate UPH’s commitment to advancing the quality of education in Indonesia,” he said.
Dr. Ir. Paristiyanti Nurwardani, M.P., as Chairman of LLDIKTI Region III, also delivered a speech during the inauguration procession. She praised Prof. Cucunawangsih’s accomplishments as well as the addition of professors at UPH. She hopes that this will inspire other academics to do more work, as well as motivate UPH to implement the Merdeka Learning-Independent Campus programs.
With another professor in Clinical Microbiology on board, UPH demonstrates the commitment to continuing the support of medical education advancement through various research perspectives in Indonesia. The lecturers and educational programs at UPH FK are guaranteed to always be current and capable of solving existing problems.
UPH has always had an impact on the nation and state through superior, holistic, and transformational higher education since its inception in 1994. UPH is dedicated to developing competent and professional leaders who possess true knowledge, faith in God Almighty, and godly character. UPH continues to spread its wings by collaborating with universities from around the world to stay on top of the latest educational developments. Partnerships with the industrial world, both at home and abroad, can also open doors for graduates to enter the workforce. UPH offers over 100 study programs with relevant curricula and highly qualified lecturers. UPH has graduated over 43,000 students who have gone on to work in various fields and become agents of change for the nation and state.
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