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article imageU.K. seeking antibiotic guardians

By Tim Sandle     Oct 21, 2015 in Health
London - The British government is seeking healthcare professionals and members of the public to become "antibiotic guardians." This is to help with using antibiotics more wisely and helping to conserve stocks.
The issue of antibiotics (or more accurately these days "antimicrobials") presents a major challenge for the world’s population. Pathogenic bacteria are increasingly becoming resistant to antimicrobials, which is partly the result of overuse. As the effectiveness of many antimicrobials falls, the number of new types of antimicrobials has slowed down considerably. The lack of new antimicrobials emerging is, in part, due to the low rate of return for pharmaceutical companies, which leads to the primary drive coming from government and academia.
In order to promote the message about safe antimicrobial use, the U.K. government is encouraging individuals (that is the public, healthcare professionals, educators and leaders) to action by taking a pledge and becoming an "Antibiotic Guardian."
Being a guardian involves promoting the following messages:
Emphasizing that antibiotics should only ever be taken as prescribed.
Antibiotics must never be stored for later.
Antibiotics must never be shared with others.
Antibiotics must always be used in the correct way, using the right drug at the right dose; and also at the right time for the right duration.
Letting people know that there are very few new antibiotics in development, so we need to use existing antibiotics wisely.
Promoting the message that good hygiene is essential in reducing the risk of spread of infections.
Avoiding prescribing antibiotics for mild infections.
Not prescribing or taking antibiotics for viral infections like colds.
There is also a call for community pharmacists to be better trained to give appropriate advice. A special website has been set up to enable people to sign-up as guardians.
In related news, the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) will take place between 16th and 22nd November 2015. This is backed by the United Nations and its agency the World Health Organization (WHO). The theme for the first event is “Antibiotics: Handle with Care.”
More about Antibiotics, antimicrobials, Bacteria
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