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World Antibiotic Awareness Week 14-20 November 2016

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14 November 2016
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Medicines for Children is supporting the World Health Organisation’s initiative ‘World Antibiotic Awareness Week’ as we agree that antibiotic resistance a globally significant health issue that we must all work together to prevent.

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to world health today and it can affect anyone, of any age, in any country. It is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, compromising the ability to treat infectious diseases and undermining many advances in health and medicine.

All around the world, bacteria are becoming resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause, resulting in longer illnesses and more deaths. At the same time, not enough new antibiotics are being developed to replace older and increasingly ineffective ones.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of antibiotics. While this happens naturally over time, the over-use and misuse of antibiotics has accelerated the process, leading to record high levels of antibiotic resistance. Without urgent action, we could be moving towards a time where antibiotics may have no effect. There needs to be a worldwide change in behaviour if antibiotics effectiveness is to be preserved.

It is not too late to reduce the impact of antibiotic resistance. We can all help to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by preventing the spread of infections and changing how we use them.

How YOU can help

• Only use antibiotics when prescribed by a certified health professional
• Never ask for antibiotics if your health worker says you or your child do not need them
• Always follow your health worker’s advice when using antibiotics
• Never share or use leftover antibiotics
• Prevent infections by washing your hands, handling food in a safe/clean manner, avoiding close contact with sick people, and keeping vaccinations up to date

Medicines for Children has produced its own advice about the importance of using antibiotics correctly, available to read here: http://www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk/general-advice-about-antibiotics