NPA urges members to be Antibiotic Guardians as awareness weeks gets underway

This year's theme is to seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics.

Dr Katie Laird, Head of the IDRG and Senior Lecturer in Microbiology, said: "The issues surrounding antibiotic resistance is of paramount importance and the IDRGs overall aim is to conduct research that focuses on this issue and has an impact on people's lives".

"People should purchase antibiotics from organisations that have complied with the law to supply antibiotics", he said. Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality.

As part of the continuous effort to enhance public awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance, the WHO is organizing the World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) 2017 from 13 to 19 November 2017.

"We need to raise awareness, particularly in younger people, that antibiotics are a precious resource which are ineffective for the treatment of viruses and should be reserved for the treatment of bacterial infections". A recent analysis conducted by the Wellcome Trust and the UN Foundation based on a questionnaire distributed in 151 countries found that 85% of the countries that responded either have developed or are developing a national action plan to address the issue of antimicrobial resistance. In addition, USDA's Acting Chief Scientist pushed back against the WHO recommendations contending that "The WHO guidelines are not in alignment with US policy and are not supported by sound science", and stating that the "recommendations erroneously conflate disease prevention with growth promotion in animals". The majority of sore throats are also viral - although it is important to check you don't have tonsillitis due to the streptococcal bacteria, once this has been ruled out antibiotics aren't necessary.

Staff and students are invited to drop off any unwanted antibiotics at the stands on each of the days, with the drugs disposed of by the HPRU in Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance team. Also, you may be giving the person the wrong drug, or a drug that they may be allergic to, and allergic reactions to drugs can be severe, or even fatal.

"We have the problem of the misuse and abuse of antibiotics..."

Antibiotics can be life-saving when used appropriately, but their misuse can result in dire consequences.

Antibiotics are often overprescribed by physicians and veterinarians and overused by the public. However, Japan, France and Spain have documented cases of gonorrhoea that are resistant, not only to these, but to all other known antibiotics. "Are we ready to fork out extra money to enjoy organic meat?" the director-general posed a question regarding the alternative.

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