Prevent antimicrobial resistance together – World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

Today marks the start of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2022 (November 18 to 24). We know that antibiotics are lifesaving, but we also need to raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance. 

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the greatest threats to human and animal health. Resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change to protect themselves from antimicrobials, which means infections that once could be treated with these medicines may become life-threatening again.   

At Monash Health, the Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) team work together with our teams on the ward to improve how we use antimicrobials.  

Dr Kylie Horne, Infectious Diseases Physician and Head of Antimicrobial Stewardship, said if people don’t take antibiotics correctly, they may become totally ineffective.  

“Using antibiotics drives resistance but antibiotics can save lives if used correctly,” says Dr Horne. “The challenge is to work out when we don’t need antibiotics, can use shorter courses or agents that have a narrower spectrum.  Reducing our antibiotic use when we don’t need them can prevent patient harm and adverse events, as well as decrease the potential for resistance” she said. 

The good news is that everyone can help fight against AMR! Here are a few simple tips to remember so you can use antimicrobials with care: 

  • Prevent infections through hand-washing and staying up-to-date with vaccinations. 
  • Antibiotics treat some bacterial infections but for many common conditions including colds and flus, they are not effective as these are viral infections. 
  • Take your antibiotic exactly as your doctor has prescribed. 
  • Don’t take any leftover antibiotics or give them to anyone else. 

Everyone can help prevent antimicrobial resistance. Be part of the solution. Be an Antimicrobial Champion today! 

How can I get involved with Antimicrobial Awareness Week? 

Approved by Carlos Scheinkestel 

 



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