Saturday, October 1, 2016

Play your part in tackling antimicrobial resistance

Actions Count; Canadian Museum of Human Rights
Actions Count. Its a statement on the wall at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, but it could just as easily apply to tackling the big issues like antimicrobial resistance. Or, as Paul Kelly sang, "From little things, big things grow". 

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the big challenges faced by health professionals and their patients. That basically includes everyone on the planet. I don’t think I’ve met a human who has never been prescribed antibiotics, which is interesting as I’ve met quite a few animals who have not had antibiotics across their entire lifespan. That's not a cheeky dig at humans, but an interesting species difference. Of course I've met some animals who have been prescribed antimicrobials for all of the wrong reasons, and I have personally felt the "pressure to prescribe". Some people will ring the clinic and ask for antibiotics, without us even having seen the animal. Fortunately, animals don't prescribe antimicrobials so we don't have to worry about training them in prudent antimicrobial use.

I digress. It’s a worldwide issue. Health professionals in Canada, where SAT has temporarily relocated, are also struggling with antimicrobial resistance. If we really are to move to a One Health, One Welfare model of practice, its something we all need to work on, locally as well as globally.

If you prescribe antibiotics in any way, or know someone who does, here is your chance to contribute to knowledge that will inform policy.

Michael Ward, Merran Govendir and Jacqui Norris, from the Faculty of Veterinary Science, have been working with medical practitioners, dentists, ethicists and social geographers in the University to design a SURVEY OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIBERS ACROSS AUSTRALIA.

The aim is to compare the attitudes, perceptions and knowledge across Australian registered vets, doctors and dentists.

Now is your chance to put the kettle on and give 15-20 minutes of your time to citizen science.

The survey contains questions about antibiotic prescribing decisions, antibiotic resistance and where practitioners source their information. The findings from this study may be used in assisting national policy-makers to revise and enhance national policy and education interventions about antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance in Australia. 

All responses are anonymous and confidential. If trying to resolve antimicrobial resistance weren’t incentive enough, if you complete the survey you can enter a draw to win an iPad (if you already have one, I presume you're allowed to regift it to someone special).

To access the survey and for more information, please click here: Your views are important to this study.

For more information, please contact Dale Dominey-Howes (Chief Investigator) at the University of Sydney. Email: Tel: +61 2 9351 6641.

Ghandi; Canadian Museum of Human Rights
If there's one thing I learned from my visit to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, it is that those little things we do (or don't do) count a lot, from choices about wear to buy clothing to supporting a despot in times of uncertainty to not speaking out.
Visitors to the Museum can provide their own suggestions, which become an exhibit in themselves.
We're continuing to seek submissions for The Vet Cookbook, so if you have a recipe and/or story you'd like to share, let us know! Read more here and check out a sample recipe here.