National Antibiotic Awareness Week

WHO urges farmers to put a curb on antibiotics use in farm animals

Imperial staff and students will have an opportunity to hand over any unused antibiotics this week as part of an annual amnesty.

As World Antibiotic Awareness Week began on Monday, the United Nations, through its Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), called for responsible use of antibiotics in humans and animals to reduce the emergence of antibiotic resistance.

Correct use of antibiotics is part the Australian Government's National Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy which focuses on measures to prevent antibiotic resistance and decrease inappropriate use of antibiotics across all sectors.

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

As Antibiotic Awareness Week (AAW) rolls round again, patients are being reminded that dental problems are best treated by a dentist, with emphasis on the correct diagnosis and treatment to ensure optimal health management. Infections affecting people - including pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning and gonorrhea - and animals alike are becoming harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat as antibiotics become less effective.


According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the commemorations are running from today until Friday under the theme: Seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics. The session will be held outside of the hospital's cafeteria on Tuesday, November 14th from 11 a.m.to 1 p.m.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is also holding an antibiotics amnesty this month. "We have to be able to use the right antibiotics, right time, right dose, for those patients". Examples of misuse include taking antibiotics for viral infections like colds and flu, and using them as animal growth promoters on farms or in aquaculture.

"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".

Among the WHO's the highest priority antibiotics are quinolones, 3rd and higher generation cephalosporins, macrolides and ketolides, glycopeptides and polymyxins (also known as colistin).

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