Antibiotic resistance is poorly documented in developing countries, even though they bear a high burden of infectious disease. What can they do to tackle the problem? And how can new drug development best be encouraged?
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Initiated by the California Medical Association Foundation, this is a partnership of healthcare providers, public health agencies, consumer and community-based health organisations, government and the pharmaceutical industry. Much of the data on prevalence will probably be relevant only to those in the United States, but much of the information in the factsheets — such as how resistance is spread and how to deal with minor infections — is relevant worldwide.
This project aims to educate the public about the problem of antibiotic resistance. The website provides information for healthcare professionals, the public, teachers, parents, children, and daycare and assisted living sites. The emphasis is on the appropriate use of antibiotics, and the need for good hygiene to prevent infections. It offers guidelines for managing respiratory tract infections, including colds, flu, sore throats, cough, earaches, sinus infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Some of this information is provided in languages other than English, including Arabic, Chinese, Korean and Punjabi.
The website also tries to educate children by offering them online games, colouring sheets to download and other activities. The aim is to get children to understand a little more about microorganisms that cause illness and how not to fall ill.
The site educates visitors about antibiotic resistance by going back to the basics of the human immune system and how we get ill, and explaining microbes. Other factsheets explain when antibiotics are needed, and how to prevent resistance from developing through overuse.
Unlike many other websites that seek to give readers a basic introduction, it looks at crosscutting issues such as why vaccination is important in preventing illnesses that may then be treated with antibiotics. It also investigates the risks involved in stockpiling antibiotics to safeguard against bioterrorism and explains the use of antibiotics in animal farming.