Antibiotics Awareness Week has recently been launched in the UK as the NHS warns that the risk of antibiotic resistance related deaths could increase to 10 million a year by 2050.
As part of the week, the NHS funded campaign Seriously Resistant will try to warn Leeds students and residents patients about the risks of misusing antibiotics. It hopes to educate users of antibiotics by holding interactive installations around Hyde Park and University campus.
The NHS predicts that by 2050 up to 10 million people a year could be at risk of death from superbugs if people continue to misuse antibiotics. Even a simple paper cut could become deadly.
Diseases resistant to antibiotics are on the rise. In 2015 Leeds saw an outbreak of super gonorrhea, which is a super bug caused by past misuses of antibiotics. It cannot be cured using antibiotics as the bacteria disease has developed resistance.
Seriously Resistant are urging people not to take antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary and prescribed by a doctor. They are also warning of the dangers of not correctly finishing a course of antibiotics, which can cause them to be less effective in future.
Dr Gaye Sheerman-Chase, GP at Craven Road Medical Centre said: “We’re committed to the seriously campaign and feel that it is important to ensure that both health professionals and the public understand the threat posed by antibiotics resistance and our roles in combating the problem.”
The issue is global and could cause health problems both nationally and internationally; Worldwide and European awareness weeks have also been established alongside campaigns in the UK.
The Seriously campaign uses giant red balloons with startling facts on about health issues designed to grab the attention of the public.
Sam Arrandale, who works with the campaign said: “I think it’s an extremely important issue and I’m proud to be involved in the campaign and help raise awareness.
“The campaign has been pretty successful, we’ve got 2000 pledges now and it’s only been a few week. It’s a cause very relevant to students and I think it’s going well.”
Seriously is asking people to go on to their website and pledge to use antibiotics responsibly. It asks participants to only take antibiotics when they are prescribed to them; take the full course of antibiotics and spread the word about the campaign.
There are currently 2176 pledges on the campaign website and the group are continuing to raise local and global awareness.
by Holly Beattie