Nov 18th 2015

World antibiotic awareness – what you can do to help

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH) and students from Pharmacy Schools in Wolverhampton and Birmingham have come together today to organise the World Antibiotic Awareness Day to promote the key messages about the dangers of antibiotic resistance.

This annual event highlights the vital role antibiotics play in human health, and encourage patients and healthcare professionals to use antimicrobials wisely. Antimicrobial resistance affects all of us – whether we are patients, carers or healthcare providers – last year in Europe, 25,000 patients died of antibiotic resistant infections. It is estimated that by 2050, if we do not address the problem, this will rise to 390,000 deaths in Europe per year.

Dr Nim Wickramasinghe, Consultant Microbiologist and Antimicrobial Lead at the Trust, said: “Antibiotic resistance could be the end of medicine as we know it.

“Take a look at BSACs antibiotic action webpage and see what you can do to help – healthcare workers, non-healthcare workers, it doesn’t matter. Everyone will lose in this game if we don’t change how we act now.”

Here’s four things you could do to help:

If you only have a minute – Make a pledge to become an antibiotic guardian, and show your support at

If you have 5 minutes – Get work colleagues, friends and family to sign up too – share on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have an hour – The antimicrobial stewardship team have developed e-learning packages for nursing and medical staff at SWBH, which can be accessed via the e-learning homepage and via QUEST. This would count towards your CPD requirements for your professional body.

If you have six weeks – The British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy ( has developed a free interactive online course, called a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Antimicrobial Stewardship, which again can be counted for your continuing professional development requirements.

Over 12,000 people worldwide have signed up to the course so far. Learners will interact with colleagues globally, to understand what antibiotic resistance means – and why the World Economic Forum has placed it alongside terrorism and climate change on its global risk register.

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