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4 Ways to Participate in Antibiotic Awareness Week

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On behalf of the Miami VA Healthcare System Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

By Timothy P. Gauthier, Pharm.D., BCPS-AQ ID
Friday, November 3, 2017

Every year approximately two million Americans become infected with bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics, and an estimated 23,000 people die from infection. Combating the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is an important public health issue today. The single most important factor contributing to antibiotic resistance is antibiotic use.

November 13 – 19 is Antibiotic Awareness Week, a time observed annually to raise awareness about the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use. Formerly known as “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week,” the week is spearheaded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is observed by the World Health Organization.

Below are four simple ways to participate in Antibiotic Awareness Week and contribute to combating the spread of drug-resistant bacteria.

Review educational materials yourself and get the facts on smart antibiotic use

The first step is to be informed. Luckily, the CDC offers a variety of educational resources for the public, policy makers and health care professionals. Whether you are looking for something to read, a video to watch, or a podcast to listen to, you will find many educational resources on the CDC website.

Talk to friends, family and others about Antibiotic Awareness Week

Telling others about Antibiotic Awareness Week is a simple yet important strategy for raising awareness. It could start with simple gestures, such as bringing up the topic during a group discussion or starting a conversation with someone in the elevator. “Hey, did you know it’s Antibiotic Awareness Week?” You don’t need to be an expert to let people know the week exists, but you should be ready to point people towards reliable resources, like the CDC website: www.CDC.gov.

Help distribute printed promotional materials

Posting a printout on a corkboard in a visible and high-traffic area is a great way to reach many people with little effort. Some of the color materials promoting the week are particularly eye-catching. There are many free promotional materials available online on the CDC website.

Share promotional materials on social media or via email

Facebook and other social media platforms now make it easy to share pictures, videos and other content with people you are connected to. You can get content to share on the CDC website.

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