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Be an antimicrobial champion and keep vital drugs working for all


The growing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics and other drugs is one of the greatest threats to healthcare worldwide, according to a medicines expert.

The warning was sounded by Macclesfield GP Graham Duce, clinical lead for prescribing and medicines optimisation at NHS Cheshire CCG, to herald World Antimicrobial Awareness Week starting tomorrow (Thursday 18 November).

This year’s campaign calls on everyone to “Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance” by becoming an antimicrobial resistance (AMR) awareness champion.

Dr Duce said: “We need as many people as possible to raise awareness of the vital importance of following the advice of their healthcare professional by not using antibiotics and certain other medicines unless prescribed for a specific reason and specific length of time. For example, antibiotics don’t work on coughs, colds and most sore throats.

“The overuse of antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics is driving resistance to these treatments – this happens when bacteria and other bugs mutate to the point where drugs are no longer effective against them. This is incredibly serious as these drugs are the backbone of modern medicine and a vital component of safe surgery.

“Without them, we would face a future with ever-increasing lifelong disabilities, serious illness, longer hospital stays and avoidable deaths.

“We’re all in this together and that’s why we must all play our part in ensuring that these vital drugs continue working for everyone.”

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is organised by the World Health Organisation, which is urging people to back the campaign by “Going Blue” – wearing light blue, adjusting their social media profiles to blue, and using Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to share why they are going blue.

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Also, you can choose one simple pledge about how you’ll make better use of antibiotics and help save these vital medicines from becoming obsolete by visiting the Antibiotic Guardian website.