Antibiotic Awareness Week helps preserve the miracle

18-24 November marks a global initiative to raise awareness and collaboration around antimicrobial resistance. This year’s theme is ‘Preserve the miracle’ and in Australia there’s a unique One Health flavour to the week.

AVA is one of the supporting organisations of Antibiotic Awareness Week in Australia, along with NPS MedicineWise, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare, the Department of Agriculture and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

"This is the first time in Australia that human and animal health organisations have become a unified force in celebrating Antibiotic Awareness Week,” said Stephen Page who is a member of the AVA’s Antimicrobial Resistance Steering Committee along with seven other leading experts in the field.

“We really want vets to start getting involved in the global fight against resistance, and Antibiotic Awareness Week is the perfect opportunity to start talking and thinking about infection control and our unique role as veterinarians.

“Antimicrobial resistance and the emergence of multi-resistant bacteria are global problems. It’s essential that we all help to preserve these important life-saving drugs,” Stephen said.

The use of antibiotics in animals, particularly in food animals, is often criticised as being a contributor to antibiotic resistance globally. Some commentators have suggested banning or restricting the use of antibiotics in animals, or making changes to prescribing and dispensing rights of veterinarians, as a way of fighting antimicrobial resistance.

“Veterinarians must demonstrate their responsible approach to prescribing to maintain access to the antibiotics needed to treat Australian animals,” Stephen said.

How to get involved

AVA has nominated antimicrobial resistance as one of the 5 key advocacy priorities for the next 5 years. Antibiotic Awareness Week is just one of a program of activities that will continue over coming years.

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