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Health launches antibiotic guidelines

Thursday 19 November 2015 | Published in Health


Health launches antibiotic guidelines
Doctor Deacon Teapa, Health Secretary Liz Iro, Tinomana Tokerau Ariki (Tokerau Munro) and Tiikura Mataiapo Tai Kavana Adamson at the Antibiotics guidelines launch. 15111807

Antibiotic resistance is now one of the biggest threats to global health and the Cook Islands Ministry of Health aims to make antibiotic prescriptions here more effective by launching the antibiotic guidelines handbook.

Launched at Rarotonga hospital yesterday, the guidelines are

for empiric and targeted antibiotics treatment to be used in the hospital and the community.

Health secretary Liz Iro highlighted the importance of using antibiotics effectively.

“Clinicians need to make the right choice of antibiotics and right dosage for individual patients.

“Overuse and misuse of antibiotics means they will no longer work in the future.”

The guideline launch coincides with the World Health Organisations’ (WHO) World Antibiotics Awareness week, a global initiative to improve understanding of the problem and change the way antibiotics are used.

Almost two-thirds of some 10,000 people surveyed across 12 countries say they know antibiotic resistance is an issue that could affect them and their families, but how it affects them and what they can do to address it are not well understood.

For example, 64 per cent of respondents believe antibiotics can be used to treat colds and flu, despite the fact that antibiotics have no impact on viruses.

Close to one third of people surveyed believe they should stop taking antibiotics when they feel better, rather than completing the prescribed course of treatment.

Antibiotic resistance compromises the treatment of infectious diseases and undermining advances in health and medicine.

Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.