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Published Thursday 9 Aug 2018

CCDHB’s infectious diseases pharmacist Chris Little and the Infection Services team are making ripples in global antibiotic awareness.

 

They were awarded a ‘highly commended’ certificate at the international Antibiotic Guardian 2018 Awards, which were held in London last month.

Chris does a huge amount of work across the hospital and in the community to raise awareness of antibiotic use. The certificate recognised the work he and his team have done in raising antibiotic awareness with school children.

Chris believes it’s important to raise awareness of the risk of antibiotic overuse and the risk of antibiotic resistance.

“The average child receives eight courses of antibiotics before starting school. Education is a vital first step in optimising antibiotic use,” says Chris.

He says a cultural shift in attitude to the role of antibiotics needs to start at a young age.

“We wanted to introduce some of the concepts around good antibiotic use to school children and get them to turn this into an easily understandable message for our 2017 antibiotics awareness campaign. The aim was not only for them to learn about infections and antibiotics, but to become antibiotic ‘guardians’ and share these messages with friends and whānau.”

Chris and his team worked with South Wellington Intermediate School to develop a lesson plan that focused on when antibiotics can help and when they will not, and asked them to create posters to highlight key messages on hygiene and the difference between bacteria and viruses.

After sharing this campaign with the Ministry of Health, work is now underway to incorporate antibiotic awareness into the national curriculum.

Chris is looking forward to heading CCDHB’s campaign for World Antibiotic Awareness Week again in November this year. “Even with limited resources, passionate antibiotic guardians can deliver successful awareness campaigns across communities,” he says.