Antibiotic Awareness Week - 16 - 22 November

General
Tuesday, 17 November 2015
Portland District Health is helping raise awareness of the problem of antibiotic resistance and ways to address this issue.

As part of Antibiotic Awareness Week, consumer and staff focused information was displayed along with education sessions provided for medical and nursing staff.

Recently conducted audits, reported and benchmarked through the National Antibiotic Prescribing Survey show Portland District Health is above the national average in the areas of Compliance with Australian and local guidelines and appropriateness of antimicrobial. Both of these indicators are criteria for an effective antimicrobial stewardship program.

The public can also play a part by limiting and controlling their use of antibiotics.

Antibiotic Awareness Week from November 16-22 is endorsed by the World Health Organisation, acknowledging the global importance of this growing public health issue.

The theme for the week is Antibiotics: handle with care.

Key Messages for Antibiotic Awareness Week include:

  • Antibiotics are a precious resource that could be lost.
  • Antibiotic resistance is happening now – it is a worldwide problem that affects human and animal health.
  • Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria stops an antibiotic from working effectively meaning some infections may be impossible to treat.
  • Few new antibiotics are being developed to help solve this problem.
  • Misuse of antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance.
  • Whenever antibiotics must be used, they must be used with care.

The public can also play a vital role in assisting to reduce antibiotic resistance by:

  • Not asking for antibiotics for colds and the flu as they have no effect on viruses
  • Understanding that antibiotics will not help to recover faster from a viral infection
  • Only take antibiotics in the way they have been prescribed.
  • Understand that it is possible to pass on antibiotic resistant bacteria to others.
  • Make a greater effort to prevent the spread of germs by practising good hygiene.

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