New Zealand is joining the global battle to raise awareness around appropriate use of 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. Antibiotics will not be able to help with every sickness, so it's important to take your healthcare provider's advice when you're feeling under the weather.
And without urgent intervention, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries will become untreatable, according World Health Organisation (WHO).
They included situations where antibiotics should not routinely be used - such as for upper respiratory tract infections, as topical treatment for surgical wounds and for fever in children without a bacterial infection.
Imperial staff and students will have an opportunity to hand over any unused antibiotics this week as part of an annual amnesty. The IPC noted that it remains committed to an approach that balances the knowledge and scientific expertise of all stakeholders to ensure the responsible use of antimicrobials for human and animal needs and encouraged World Health Organization "to be more inclusive of the veterinary community in its work so its deep expertise can guide proper antimicrobial use and animal care". "They should be taken as prescribed, never saved later or shared with others".
Chris Little is the infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist at Capital Coast District Health Board.
The National Pork Producers Council immediately issued a statement calling a ban on disease prevention uses of antibiotics in food-animal production as "ill-advised and wrong". Some nurses are prescribers now and more will come.
He said patients often fail to get proper advice before using antibiotics, which leads to them taking the drugs for viral infections.