Portland District Health Has Own Band of Resistance Fighters

George Sison, Claire Holt, John Okaroh, Glenda Whitbourn, Chloe Nunn, Gaynor Denboer
Monday, 24 November 2014
As part of Antibiotic Awareness Week, PDH staff are joining the campaign to tackle antibiotic resistance, complete with T-shirts to promote the antibiotic resistance cause and an information display at the hospital.

Antibiotic Awareness Week in Australia is part of a global initiative to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and promote the responsible use of antibiotics. The 2014 campaign is following the theme, No action today, no cure tomorrow.

PDH Infection Control Coordinator Loren Drought said it was important to draw attention to the issue.

Due to overuse and misuse of antibiotics, bacterial infections that were once easily cured are now becoming harder to treat,Ms Drought said.

If changes are not made, there may come a time when patients die from infections that we can currently treat.

The World Health Organisation has stated that antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to human health today. The resistant bacteria are found globally, and Portland is not immune.

Despite the threat, Australia is doing something about and PDH is joining the campaign.

Australia has recognised this threat to our health and many sectors such as health and agriculture are reviewing current practises and implementing new initiatives to try to protect the valuable antibiotic resources we currently have.

About two years ago PDH implemented an antibiotic restriction process that is in line with Health Department guidelines. Ms Drought said the aim is to protect a group of antibiotics so they will be effective in the future to treat life threatening infections in all populations, but especially cancer patients, neonates and those with chronic illnesses.

During this week a public display board will be available near the main entry to hospital for staff and visitors to read valuable information on the key messages.

The public can also play a key role by understanding that not all illnesses such as coughs and colds require antibiotics, Ms Drought said.

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