The overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics can result in antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Resistant organisms are developing rapidly in local communities and the need for increased public awareness and ways to control AMR is highly necessary to prevent this threat to modern medicine from growing to astronomical levels.
A recent study has found that parents lack awareness of AMR and overvalue antibiotics. Such data could be detrimental to communities in which AMR could develop in children of these parents.
More than half of Australian children were prescribed a round of antibiotics in 2013, making them the largest age population to be prescribed antibiotics. Out of this large proportion of children, evidence shows that often, antibiotics are prescribed inappropriately, such as in treating viral infections. There are a variety of factors that can influence how AMR spreads in communities, however, a large driver of AMR is when parents request doctors to prescribe antibiotics to their children. It should be noted that the level of education and income of parents does not show a meaningful correlation with the correct usage of antibiotics.
ARH PhD Scholar, Aaron Alejandro, from Murdoch University was awarded a PhD Funding Partner Scholarship, co-funded by Australian Rotary Health and the Rotary Club of Applecross in 2019, to conduct an in-depth social research study to understand community attitudes toward antibiotic use.
“I want to be a part of creating solutions in this area specifically the lack of common knowledge and inappropriate behaviour of the public towards antibiotics,” said Mr Alejandro.
His research has shown that though, participants agree that AMR is a serious health problem and are aware of the risks associated with antibiotic use, they still viewed antibiotics as a time-saving solution that minimised disruption to their routine. Such results show that AMR is proving to be a serious threat to the future of healthcare and that further interventions are needed to incorporate parent empowerment and participation in the decision-making regarding antibiotics use.
We wish Aaron all the best with his future academic and professional endeavours.
Media contact: Alexander Galati – email@example.com
First published 16th June 2022