Statement Article from  Public Health Agency of Canada

Archived - Antibiotic Awareness Week November 17-21, 2014

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November 18, 2014

Antibiotic Awareness Week is a global initiative to promote the responsible use of antibiotic drugs and raise awareness about the public health concern of antibiotic resistance.

Canadians are prescribed millions of antibiotics each year, and while antibiotics can save lives, their overuse and misuse is a major contributor to antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria that cause illness become resistant to the drugs used to treat them. If antibiotics become less effective because of antibiotic resistance, then common illnesses and infections can become more dangerous to our families and communities.

The Public Health Agency of Canada's new antibiotic resistance awareness campaign calls upon Canadians, doctors, pharmacists, and other health professionals to do their part to reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance.

There are simple things Canadians can do to help reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance. Speak to your healthcare professional to identify what the most appropriate treatment is for an infection, and always take antibiotics exactly as directed.

Healthcare professionals can reinforce with their patients when antibiotics are appropriate, how to take them, and how to reduce the chance of becoming ill in the first place. By working together to ensure that antibiotics are used responsibly, we can make a difference and make sure antibiotics will still work when they will be needed.

Antibiotic resistance contributes to the bigger problem of antimicrobial resistance, which involves not only bacteria, but viruses, fungi and parasites that can change so that the drugs, known as antimicrobials, used to treat them become less effective and sometimes do not work at all.

The Government of Canada is committed to limiting and controlling the spread of antimicrobial resistance through its Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada: A Federal Framework for Action. This Framework maps out a coordinated, collaborative approach to responding to the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

During Antibiotic Awareness Week learn what you can do to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for your children and future generations.


Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health
Government of Canada

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