World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020

‘United to preserve antimicrobials – United to prevent drug resistance’

Monday, November 23 2020

Bacteria are continually evolving and developing resistance to antibiotics used against them. Antibiotic resistance is a global problem, and common infections are becoming more difficult to treat because the antibiotics used are becoming less effective due to inappropriate or excessive use. Netcare has a well-established, active antibiotic stewardship programme which promotes the responsible use of antibiotics.

Due to the global increase in multidrug-resistant germs, our nurses monitor that you receive the correct antibiotic for your infection, at the suitable dose and for the appropriate duration so that we can minimise the inappropriate use of antibiotics and provide you with the best and safest care. This falls in line with the international best practice recommendations from the World Health Organisation.

What is Netcare doing to promote the responsible use of antibiotics?
Pharmacists in Netcare hospitals work in collaboration with doctors, microbiologists, and nurses to review your antibiotic prescriptions to ensure you receive:

  • The appropriate antibiotic for your infection
  • The accurate and safest antibiotic dose to treat your infection properly
  • The most fitting duration for your antibiotic therapy

This is in line with the international best practices to stop the inappropriate and unnecessary use of antibiotics to preserve antibiotic effectiveness for future generations.

What can you do to promote the responsible use of antibiotics and reduce drug resistance?

  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle so you can prevent infections and avoid the need for antibiotics.
  • Clean your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap in your home, office, school, gym and other places.
  • Do not use antibiotics for viral infections, such as flu or the common cold.
  • When you do need an antibiotic, take them exactly as prescribed and do not skip any doses.
  • Do not ‘save’ antibiotics from one illness to use them when you are ill at another time.
  • Do not share your antibiotics with others.
  • Keep your vaccinations up to date.
  • Talk to your family and friends about the importance of only taking antibiotics when necessary and appropriate.
  • Drug resistance has made tuberculosis (TB) harder to treat; you must continue your treatments to reduce drug-resistant TB, especially during COVID-19.
  • Interrupting HIV treatment causes drugs to becoming ineffective and HIV harder to treat. Continue your HIV treatments to reduce drug resistance during COVID-19.

It is not too late to reduce the impact of antibiotic resistance, and we all have a part to play in preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics.