Antibiotic awareness week celebrated

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Update: 2:37PM FIJI'S Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Alex O'Connor yesterday launched the Antibiotic Awareness Week by making an official pledge to take action against antimicrobial resistance.

In new research released for World Antibiotic Week by independent not-for-profit NPS MedicineWise, a survey of 2509 people revealed 35% of 16- to 24-year-olds ask health professionals for antibiotics when they have colds or flu.

"Overuse of antibiotics can cause bacteria to become resistant, meaning current treatments will no longer work", he said. The 2017 posters have been published on this site for use around the world as a campaign resource. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics in livestock and aquaculture for treatment and growth promotion has been shown to hasten the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistant pathogens in food and the environment. Simply relying on the use of antibiotics from your GP or other health provider is not the best solution.

"We are all in this fight together, but the Awareness week is about bringing the message to all New Zealanders - so they can understand that when they see a health professional, they may increasingly hear a message that antibiotics just aren't the answer for their particular health issue". This occurs when bacteria doesn't respond to the drugs created to kill them and it is one of the most urgent threats to the public's health. "Antibiotics are also commonly used for promoting growth in food animals, one type of use that is not necessary".

"It's partly about explaining to patients why antibiotics won't help".

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The problem with the casual use of antibiotics is they lose their effect over time as the bacteria they are meant to counter simply adapt to overcome the medicine's effect.

Because of its complexity, antimicrobial resistance mitigation in food and agriculture can not be addressed by a single sector or strategy, but through various disciplines working together to contribute to producing safer foods and creating a better environment for all. At the 68th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2015, delegates endorsed a Global Action Plan to tackle AMR.

"Like in human health, veterinary medicine has tremendously progressed thanks to antibiotics". By pledging you commit to stop the misuse of antibiotics and will receive information about what action to take to combat resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance is an emerging clinical problem, recognised internationally as one of the largest threats to human and animal health.

The Animal Health Institute reiterated its position that antibiotics need to be used responsibly in food-animal production, not eliminated altogether.

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