We'd like to thank Stella (Grade 10) for her excellent and informative blog post for #AntibioticAwarenessWeek. Students, staff, and parents can all take some time to learn about this major global issue and what we can do to help.
"This week is NHS Antibiotic Awareness Week. Antibiotic Awareness Week takes place every November and its main goal is to raise global awareness surrounding the growing issue of antibiotic resistance. So what is antibiotic resistance? Well, that is what our Grade 10 biology class has been learning about over the past few lessons. Antibiotics are medicines that doctors prescribe to aid bacterial infections so antibiotic resistance is when these bacteria change to resist antibiotics. So why does it occur?
Antibiotic resistance is caused by taking antibiotics for viral infections rather than bacterial, taking too many antibiotics, or stop taking antibiotics in an antibiotic cycle prematurely. All of these actions cause the stronger bacteria that are not killed to adapt and multiply to be resistant to the antibiotics we take. Examples of viral infections that should not be treated with antibiotics are colds, the flu, and sore throats.
Antibiotic resistance has become one of the most pressing global issues currently as bacteria become less and less responsive to antibiotics which we rely on to cure us. Illnesses such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning and more are becoming close to impossible to cure in some cases. Therefore, it is vital that we learn how to prevent it. As individuals, we can ensure we take our full cycles of antibiotics when prescribed them to ensure all bad bacteria are killed, do not take antibiotics for viral infections instead of bacterial infections and only use antibiotics when directly ordered to by a health professional. For policymakers, policies should be put in place that regulate the distribution of antibiotics and publicise information on antibiotic resistance and its impacts. A robust national plan must be created to tackle antibiotic resistance and strengthen policies that prevent the spread of bacterial infection.
It is vital for us to learn about antibiotic resistance so that we can make these changes surrounding prevention to reduce the spread of resistance. Especially as young people, I think it is very important for us to grow up with this awareness so that we can keep our health in check. I gained a lot from the classes we did on antibiotic resistance as it really opened my eyes to how big of a problem it is and how urgent prevention and awareness is. For instance, when teaching the class on a specific illness affected by antibiotic awareness I felt really engaged with the topic as I had to gain enough understanding to teach the class in an exciting and informative way. "
"Antibiotic Resistance." WHO | World Health Organization, 5 Feb. 2018, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antibiotic-resistance.