NZ joining battle to raise awareness around use of antibiotics


Dr John Wyeth from PHARMAC says they are charged with getting the best possible health outcomes for New Zealanders from the public medicines budget - and antimicrobial resistance could undermine that.

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.

Think twice and seek advice from a health care professional before taking antibiotics.

Antibiotics are a valuable and powerful tool in keeping people well - but inappropriate use is causing a growth in antimicrobial resistance, undermining the effectiveness of antibiotics and threatening common medical treatments and surgery.

"This means standard treatments for a variety of relatively common infections are becoming ineffective", Baker said.

You can read about the Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan at New Zealand Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan.

The collaborative effort between doctors, pharmacists, microbiologists, infection prevention specialists, nurses and other healthcare professionals plays a critical role in driving and influencing the implementation of the hospital antimicrobial resistance strategy.

"Students at BYU-Idaho are partly involved in solving this antibiotic crisis by searching for new antibiotics in the soil around campus", Kelson said.

Dr Prateek Sharma, who did much of the experimental work, added: "The resistance mechanisms that we identified are found in many different species of bacteria therefore, our research could lead to the discovery of molecules that could be developed into new drugs that can treat bacterial infections". Millions of people owe their health to the healing power of antibiotics.

Although rates of AMR were low in NZ, there had been a "progressive increase" in recent years.

"Like in human health, veterinary medicine has tremendously progressed thanks to antibiotics".

The college says more must be done to prevent infections at all levels, from community settings to travel and in healthcare settings.

"In addition to the AMS Programme, stringent infection prevention and control programmes are also in place to assist in the effective management of AMR", explains Soko.

"This is where most of the important resistant pathogens and the mobile genetic elements they contain have disseminated internationally".