Mind the gap: promoting general public awareness and action on antimicrobial resistance

  22 December 2020

With 2020, we see the beginning of Australia’s second national strategy to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Threaded through this document – and others like it, from other parts of the world– are claims for ‘whole of society’ engagement with AMR, including from members of the general public. But these policy framings stop short of spelling out just what it is that individuals can and should do to moderate the impact of AMR. Another hurdle is that there is little evidence to help identify priority groups and contexts, over and above some general indicators. For example, we know that, in 2017, children under 4 years of age and people over 65 years of age were prescribed antibiotics more than other age groups but we lack specific strategies that cater for these groups. It is also shown that Australians are prodigious consumers of antimicrobials, but it is not clear how these population indicators might translate into advice that individuals can enact to reduce AMR. As Australia’s national strategy gets underway, then, it is timely to reflect on the gap between policy aspirations for general public engagement and how to deliver impact on the AMR threat.

Author(s): Mark Davis
Effective Surveillance  
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