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Antibiotic awareness week launched in Suva

15 November 2017

November 13th kicks off World Antibiotics Awareness Week, and Allen County Public Health wants to remind people to "Be Antibiotics Aware" when using them.

Viet Nam is among the countries that in recent years have witnessed a growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, brought about by the excessive and irrational use of antibiotics at all levels of the health care system, in aquaculture and livestock production and the public.

Inappropriate use of antibiotics, such as taking them for viral conditions like flu, or for mild infections that may clear-up without treatment is known to fuel resistance.

A systematic review published last week in The Lancet Planetary Health found that interventions that restrict antibiotic use in food-producing animals reduced antibiotic-resistant bacteria in these animals by up to 39 per cent.

This could include setting broken bones, basic operations, chemotherapy and animal health, which all rely on antibiotics.

"Unless excessive use of antibiotics can be dramatically curbed, unfortunately it will be the younger generations who will be more exposed to antibiotic resistance as time goes on".

"The use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world", according to the CDC.

Antibiotics are essential for treating pneumonia and sepsis; however, antibiotics can not help against bronchitis, colds, flu and some ear infections.

The Salvation Army Kettle Campaign kicks off this week
The goal is to raise $310,000 with the funds staying local to support some of the Salvation Army's programs and services. The Salvation Army Band also performed "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and other songs during the kickoff.

Because of its complexity, antimicrobial resistance mitigation in food and agriculture can not be addressed by a single sector or strategy, but through various disciplines working together to contribute to producing safer foods and creating a better environment for all.

Dentists are responsible for around three per cent of all antibiotics prescribed in Australia annually and the ADA is calling on its members to continue to use antibiotics judiciously, and to keep abreast of the latest research on this vital issue.

- They are used to treat sick animals, but also on healthy animals to stop them getting sick and to speed up their growth. At the 68th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2015, delegates endorsed a Global Action Plan to tackle AMR.

"The implementation of the national AMR action plan will also be presented". In a statement, AHI noted that "studies and experience show that programs aimed only at reducing use in animals have not been effective at reducing resistance rates in humans".

"Collaboration to promote effective and safe antibiotic use is essential to our patients and the public", said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton.

Since they were first marketed in the 1940s, antibiotics have helped to revolutionize modern healthcare, offering cures to previously untreatable infections.

Katinka de Balogh is senior animal production health officer for Asia and the Pacific at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Antibiotic awareness week launched in Suva