Healthcare professionals and residents are being urged to make a pledge to become an Antibiotic Guardian - and in doing so help ensure that life-saving medicines can remain effective for longer.

The third annual World Antibiotic Awareness Week gets underway on Monday (13 November, 2017) and highlights the fact that antibiotics are a precious resource which should only be used when prescribed by a certified health professional.

By making a pledge at Type=links;Linkid=6685;Title=Antibiotic Guardian;Target=_blank;, healthcare professionals and residents in the City of Wolverhampton can help slow resistance to antibiotics, one of the biggest threats facing us today.

Without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy and animal health all rely on access to antibiotics that work.

A national campaign, Keep Antibiotics Working, was launched by Public Health England last month to support the Government's efforts to reduce inappropriate prescriptions for antibiotics by raising awareness of the issue of antibiotic resistance and reducing demand from the public.

Keep Antibiotics Working urges people in Wolverhampton to always trust their doctor, nurse or pharmacist's advice as to when they need antibiotics and, if they are prescribed, take antibiotics as directed and never save them for later use or share them with others. The campaign also provides effective self-care advice to help individuals and their families feel better if they are not prescribed antibiotics.

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Bacteria adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic, and so they are losing their effectiveness at an ever increasing rate.

"Indeed, it is estimated that at least 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections.

"It's therefore really important that people use antibiotics in the right way - the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time for the right duration. They should be taken as prescribed, never saved later or shared with others.

"In addition, people take antibiotics for mild infections when they don't need to. Colds, coughs, earache and sore throats usually get better without antibiotics. Anyone who has any of these conditions should instead speak to their pharmacist who will be able to give advice on the best remedies.

"There are very few new antibiotics in the development pipeline. Using them in the correct way will help to slow down the development of antibiotic resistance and make sure these life saving medicines continue to stay effective for ourselves our children and grandchildren.

"I'd urge healthcare professionals and residents to make the pledge and become an Antibiotic Guardian, and for people to think twice about taking antibiotics unless they have specifically been prescribed them by their GP."

For more details about World Antibiotic Awareness please visit Type=links;Linkid=6685;Title=Antibiotic Guardian;Target=_blank;. For details of the Keep Antibiotics Working campaign, please visit Type=links;Linkid=9854;Title=Public Campaign - Keep Antibiotics Working;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Friday 10 November, 2017