World Antibiotic Awareness Week, 12-18th November 2018
Theme: Change Can’t Wait. Our Time with Antibiotics is Running Out
Once again the November campaign is striving to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance. World antibiotic awareness week encourages best practice among the general public, health workers and policy makers, with the intention of preventing the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.
Since their discovery, antibiotics have served as the foundation of modern medicine. However, the persistent overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human and animal health have encouraged the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance (AMR).
What is antibiotic resistance?
Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. AMR occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines, developing the ability to withstand antimicrobial treatments.
The consequences of AMR include increasing treatment failure for commonplace infections, such as chest infections, and diminished treatment options in cases where antibiotics are vital, such as during cancer treatment when patients are prone to infection.
What can we do?
A global effort is required to change the way we prescribe and use antibiotics. Although new medicines may be developed, without behaviour change, antibiotic resistance will remain a major threat to health.
To prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance you should:
• Only use antibiotics prescribed by a certified health professional.
• Never demand antibiotics if your health care professional advises against them.
• Take your antibiotics as prescribed if you are given them, and complete the course.
• Never share or use leftover antibiotics.
• Prevent infections by regularly washing hands, preparing food hygienically, avoiding close contact with sick people where possible, practising safer sex, and keeping vaccinations up to date.
Misuse of Antibiotics puts us all at Risk.
WHO video 2018, Antibiotics Handle with Care:
Feeling confident that you understand antibiotic awareness? Test yourself in a simple 6 question quiz HERE