The WA Country Health Service – South West have joined national and international organisations to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.
With the theme “antibiotics: handle with care”, antibiotic awareness week 2016 encourages all Australians to play a part in addressing the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance
South West public health physician Dr Naru Pal said everyone should be aware of the effectiveness of antibiotics and the serious implications from its resistance.
“Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of that antibiotic,” he said.
“As a result standard treatments become ineffective and risks of hospitalisation, complication and death increase.’’
According to the World Health Organisation, antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to public health today.
Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs used in human health. The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to the development of antibiotic resistance.
“Australia has one of the highest rates of antibiotic use in the developed world and the South West region is no exception,” Dr Pal said.
“Antibiotic overuse and misuse – such as taking antibiotics for viral infections, use of antibiotics in animals to accelerate growth and poor infection control accelerate the development and spread of resistance.
“Antibiotic resistance is a problem for us all. If we all handle antibiotics with care, together we can make a difference and change the future for better.”
Dr Pal said there are a number of simple steps to prevent the development and spread of antibiotic resistance that include;
For more infromation about antibiotic awareness visit the NPS MedicineWise website.
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