Antibiotic awareness week launched in Suva

Update: 2:37PM FIJI’S Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Alex O’Connor yesterday launched the Antibiotic Awareness Week by making an official pledge to take action against antimicrobial resistance.

Speaking at the event held at the Pasifika campus in Suva yesterday, Mr O’Connor said treating resistant infections with current antibiotics was becoming a challenge, leading to infections causing higher morbidity and mortality.

He also noted the associated incurring socio-economic costs on society.

“It has been highlighted that the use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs used in human medicine,” Mr O’Connor said.

“However, it has been also highlighted that up to 50 per cent of all the antibiotics prescribed for people are not needed or are not optimally effective as prescribed.”

Mr O’Connor encouraged all academic institutions to invest in research on the issue of resistance in Fiji “so we can gauge on where we are right now and where to progress in the future”.

Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals, and antimalarials ) from working against it.