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Antibiotics Awareness Week

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

Between the 16 and 22 November the World Health Organisation holds Antibiotics Awareness Week.  Globally, Australia is seen as a progressive nation relating to our standards of health and the quality of our research. The focus on Antibiotics Awareness highlights this practice within the public health sector.

‘Handle With Care’ is the main theme for the week and a strong focus within the healthcare industry, is to play an active role in raising awareness of identifying and managing the challenges around antibiotic resistance.

As fortunate as we are in Australia regarding healthcare practices, we can take for granted, the critical role that antibiotics play in maintaining our health.  What is antibiotic resistance?  This occurs when a course of antibiotics cannot combat infection which may make treatment difficult or stop it altogether.

What is the impact of Antibiotic Resistance?

*  Antibiotic resistance is growing globally and a strategy is needed to minimise the toll it may take on the human and animal population
* Financially, trying to discover new antibiotics to combat resistance can be very costly
* More new antibiotics need to be developed to address this problem
* Careless use of antibiotics is also highlighting a need to educate people in doing their part to minimise antibiotic resistance

The first National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy focuses on prevention measures as well as minimising the inappropriate use of antibiotics wherever they are used.

Antibiotic management is a critical factor in providing conditions that lead to overcoming infection. Factors such as timely and accurate identification of the infection, taking the right dosage of an antibiotic at the right time, forms an important part of the assessment into controlling antibiotic resistance

Whilst government measures to manage resistance are on going, it is vital that any antibiotics we are prescribed are taken as advised by a healthcare professional. Completing our courses of treatment is just as important and every person has a role to play in making sure that antibiotics can continue to keep us in good health.