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Wellington SCL Newsletter
14 November 2018

Please find the latest information from your laboratory provider Wellington SCL.  In this newsletter we cover:

  • World Antibiotic Awareness Week 12-18th November 2018
Please forward this email to all clinical staff

Change Can’t Wait. Our Time with Antibiotics is Running Out

World Antibiotic Awareness Week 12-18th November 2018
Today marks the start of World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018. Every year in November, the World Health Organization stages a week-long event to raise global awareness of the crisis we all face with the rise in antibiotic resistance. Our ability to provide safe and effect healthcare, such as cancer care and routine operations, as well as treatment of common infections, may be threatened in future if we do not act now. In 2015, The World Health Organisation adopted a global action plan on antimicrobial resistance. This was in recognition that, “Without harmonized and immediate action on a global scale, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era in which common infections could once again kill”. New Zealand made a commitment to the World Health Assembly to have in place a national action plan on AMR by 2017. Subsequently, in December 2017, the New Zealand Ministry of Health set out the New Zealand Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan. Although New Zealand has comparatively low rates of resistance, there is no room for complacency.

We all have a part to play to safe guard our antibiotics for future generations; misuse of antibiotics puts us all at risk.  It is particularly important that we all use antibiotics the right way, at the right dose, at the right time, for the right duration. Here are some ways we can help:
  1. Avoid inappropriate prescribing for viral and other infections where antibiotics don’t make a difference, including asymptomatic bacteriuria
  2. Use current antibiotic guidelines to select the right agent whenever antibiotics are required
  3. Take time to explain to patients why an antibiotic may not be needed and the potential harm caused by inappropriate use, such as side effects or increasing the risk of infection with drug resistant bacteria
  4. Give alternative advice such as plenty of rest, fluid and simple analgesia, if indicated.
  5. Prevention is better than cure. Advise patients how to avoid infection by simple measures such as handwashing, vaccination, safe-sex, and stopping smoking
  6. Revisit allergy status whenever prescribing an antibiotic and take an accurate allergy history. Many patients may think they are allergic to an antibiotic when they are not, which leads to increasing use of less effective, broader spectrum agents
To find out more, visit or and

See here for additional resources, including patient information leaflets to share with your patients detailing advice on how to manage their infection:
For other information or advice, please contact Dr Juliet Elvy, Clinical Microbiologist, Medlab Nelson Marlborough, Wellington SCL. Tel: 0278393726; email:
@ElvyJuliet #KeepAntibioticsWorking #WAAW18
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