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Antibiotic Resistance on ANZAC Day

2 min read April 25, 2013 at 9:12pm on Health and Infection

There's not much that will stop me from banging on about antimicrobial resistance.  Preventing it is my job - and my passion - I'm lucky enough to have landed a job doing something that really fits with what I like doing.

NPS Medicinewise (formerly the National Prescribing Service) do a lot of great stuff in promoting appropriate use of medicines (not just antibiotics) and their page on antimicrobial resistance is a great starting point if you want to read about the topic.  They also help co-ordinate a national hospital antibiotic use survey in September (which is the source for a lot of my stats on antibiotic use) and have some great educational resources for prescribers (if you're a junior doctor reading this:  do these modules).  

This tweet popped up in my twitter stream this morning, linking to this video. I love the video - I think it's great to hear from people who can see the enormous difference that antibiotics have made in their lifetime - because otherwise, it's just doom-sayers like me predicting a return to the time when we don't have effective antimicrobials.

But I'm just not sure how comfortable I am about leveraging ANZAC day for a public health message. There's quite a bit of navel-gazing this year about ANZAC day - as people become more remote from the diggers it all started with.  

See the excellent thoughts of John Birmingham here.  Whether or not that's the case, I suspect the outrage engine would be in full-swing if a business ran ads trading on the ANZAC story.  I'm just not sure we should treat a public service message any differently.

In any event, ANZAC day is important and although its meaning to the general public may shift, I think we should keep its observation low key (in fact, I quite like Jon Kudelka's suggestion. Antibiotic resistance is also important.  

But let's get rid of the overlap between the two. But really - watch the NPS video anyway.