NZ in global antibiotic awareness battle

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And without urgent intervention, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries will become untreatable, according World Health Organisation (WHO).

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. "Education about the importance of taking antibiotics as recommended by a health professional, not sharing them, and reporting adverse effects, is key to managing the use of antibiotics well". The 2017 posters have been published on this site for use around the world as a campaign resource.

"Stronger policies and high level commitment alone are not enough to stop the misuse and overuse of antibiotics", said Vice-Minister of Health, Dr Nguyen Viet Tien, Chair of the National Steering Committee for Antibiotic Resistance in Viet Nam. "Often when you explain all this, people are actually very happy to avoid antibiotic use".

This stewardship helps to fight resistance because it preserves the usefulness of antibiotics. 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.

Many countries have already taken action to reduce the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. For food and agriculture, this means that one of the best ways to tackle AMR is to diminish the need of antimicrobials at farm settings through the promotion of good practices in livestock production, aquaculture farming and crop production.

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The WHO said their guidelines contribute directly to the aims of the Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2015 and the Declaration of the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Antimicrobial Resistance, adopted in 2016.

Quoting from a recent AAAP position paper, Dougherty added, "Controlling and preventing disease reduces the number of poultry barns necessary; in addition, there is less use of electricity, water, corn and soybeans and propane when using an antibiotic tool to prevent... enteric diseases".

Later in October, an AMR surveillance working group was founded to improve collaboration among stakeholders working in AMR surveillance in human and animal health, communities and the environment.

The action plan sets out responsibilities for national governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), as well as other national and worldwide partners in responding to antimicrobial resistance.