Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018

The World Health Organization has warned that antibiotic
resistance is one of the greatest threats to human health today.
Antibiotic resistance happens when
bacteria change to protect themselves
from an antibiotic.
When this happens, antibiotics that
previously would have killed the bacteria,
or stopped them from multiplying, no
longer work.
Australia has one of the highest antibiotic
prescription rates in the world, with around
30 million prescriptions issued annually.
The more antibiotics are used – or misused
– the more chances bacteria have to become
resistant to them.
MAJOR CAUSES OF ANTIBIOTIC
RESISTANCE INCLUDE:
Using antibiotics when they are
not needed
Not taking antibiotics at the dose
and time prescribed by your
doctor — this allows time for the
bacteria in your system
to become resistant.
A recent prediction from the UK stated that
antibiotic resistance could lead to an extra
10 million deaths a year worldwide by 2050,
with a financial cost to the world of up to
US $100 trillion.
MOMENTUM IS BUILDING
Addressing the seriousness and scope of the
situation, global leaders met at the United
Nations 2016 General Assembly, committing
to fight antimicrobial resistance together and
agreeing on a sustainable, multidisciplinary
approach to tackle this complex health issue.
An important approach is raising awareness
about antibiotic resistance across all
sectors: health, environment, agriculture
and community. NPS MedicineWise has
been proactive in developing awareness
campaigns, educational programs and
resources aimed at improving health
professional understanding and practice, as
well as consumer understanding of the issue.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE
AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC?
WHAT CAN WE DO TO TACKLE
ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?
The reality is that even now antibiotics
are losing their effectiveness. Antibiotic
resistance is a serious health issue already
present in our community. We can help
preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by
being part of the solution. There are simple
actions individuals can take to help stop the
spread of antibiotic resistant infections.
It’s time to take antibiotics seriously.

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