Change can’t wait. Our time with antibiotics is running out
World Antibiotic Awareness Week 12-18th November 2018
Every year in November, the World Health Organisation stages a week-long event to raise global awareness of the crisis we all face with the rise in antibiotic resistance.
Our ability to provide safe and effect healthcare, such as cancer care, routine operations, and treatment of common infections, may be threatened in future if we do not act now. Although New Zealand has comparatively low rates of resistance, there is no room for complacency.
We all have a part to play to safe guard our antibiotics for future generations; misuse of antibiotics puts us all at risk. It is important that we all use antibiotics the right way, at the right dose, at the right time, and for the right duration.
Here are some ways you can help:
- Prevention is better than cure. Protect yourself and your family from preventable infections by washing your hands well, preparing food safely and getting vaccinated when recommended
- Think twice, seek advice. Only take antibiotics that are prescribed to you and never keep leftover pills for later use
- Remember that antibiotics won’t work for viral infections like most sore throats, common colds and bronchitis. Take other measures such as rest, fluids and simple medication to relieve pain and other symptoms, when indicated.
- Antibiotics can be life-saving when needed but can also cause harm, such as side effects or increasing the risk of infection with resistant bacteria. Antibiotics should only be used when recommended by your healthcare professional.