Australians' knowledge of antibiotic resistance better but not enough


This year, the WHO European Region will mark the 4th annual World Antibiotic Awareness Week on 12-18 November, by committing to closer collaboration across sectors to protect human, animal and environment health, in the spirit of One Health.

"With 33 000 deaths each year as a effect of an infection due to bacteria resistant to antibiotics and €1 billion in annual health-care expenditure, we need to ensure that antibiotics are used prudently and that infection prevention measures are in place in all settings across Europe", stated Andrea Ammon, Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Some major contributing factors for antibiotic resistance in India are: High consumption of broad spectrum antibiotics, easy availability of antibiotics, including combinations, inappropriate use by people with inadequate knowledge of their use, rampant antibiotic use in animals raised for food, environmental contamination from discharge of effluents from antibiotic manufacturing units to rivers and lakes.

The WHO agreed with experts around the globe that since the discovery of antibiotics they had served as the cornerstone of modern medicine. Over 300 people from the College's community also signed up to become an antibiotic guardian.

"When antibiotics are obtained and used inappropriately, selective pressure is brought to bear, favouring the emergence of resistance strains". The survey found that 92% agree that doctors and other healthcare professionals should only prescribe antibiotics when needed.

Farmers and food producers can help by giving antibiotics to animals only to control or treat infectious diseases and phase out the routine use of antibiotics to promote growth.

Dr Derek Sherwood from the Choosing Wisely campaign says a growing number of infections, such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea, are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective. You can further help us by making a donation.

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Since 2016, World Health Organization has helped 57 low- and middle-income countries collect data to create a standardized system for tracking antibiotic use.

I think too many people take antibiotics for granted, rather than treating them with the respect they deserve. In 2018 alone, the Pork Checkoff funded almost $400,000 across multiple research areas to evaluate antibiotic alternatives and other methods to minimise on-farm antibiotic use.

The organisation's Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System unveiled earlier this year spoke of the widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance.

Another example of continuous improving regarding antibiotics is the Checkoff research that USA pig farmers have funded, which totals $6.5 million since 2000.

"Governments, funding agencies and the private sector need to invest and work together to secure safe, effective medicines for generations to come".

On the occasion of World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018, we are pleased to partner up with MMIDSP, which is leading the way for creating awareness on AMR in Pakistan, said Wajeeh.

'The timeframe for developing a new antibiotic is 10-15 years and it's not very profitable for companies as antibiotics tend to only be used for short courses.