Survey reveals Australians’ growing concern about Antibiotic Resistance

Independent not-for-profit NPS MedicineWise has released survey findings for World Antibiotic Awareness Week (13-19 November 2017), indicating Australians are increasingly aware of the present-day threat of antibiotic resistance.

Independent not-for-profit NPS MedicineWise has released survey findings for World Antibiotic Awareness Week (13-19 November 2017), indicating Australians are increasingly aware of the present-day threat of antibiotic resistance.

In the national survey* of more than 2,500 people, NPS MedicineWise explored attitudes and beliefs around when antibiotic resistance will affect them. 25% of respondents acknowledged antibiotic resistance as a current concern for themselves and their families – up from only 11% in the same survey conducted in 2015.

However, more than half (53%) of respondents claimed they were either unsure or didn’t think they would ever be affected by what the World Health Organization has warned is one of the greatest threats to human health today. The rest of respondents (22%) believe antibiotic resistance will be a problem in the next 10 or 50 years’ time.

NPS MedicineWise CEO Dr Lynn Weekes said: “Antibiotic resistance is an issue we all face here and now. The reality is antibiotics are losing their power.

“While it’s positive to see an increase in people becoming aware of this fact, there are still too many people who do not understand that the more they use antibiotics, the more chances bacteria have of becoming resistant. There are deaths every year in Australia attributable to antimicrobial resistance."

“Wise and responsible use of antibiotics is essential in curbing this worrying global trend. Everyone is part of the solution.”

The survey also found:

  • Significantly more people aged 16-24 (23%) and 25-34 (18%) compared with older age groups 65-74 (9%) and 75+ (10%) indicated that they think antibiotic resistance will affect them or their family in 50 or 100 years or, in fact, never
  • Australians who speak English as a second language (32%) are less likely than only English speakers (41%) to believe antibiotic resistance will affect them in the next ten years

The survey of 2,509 Australians aged 18 and over was conducted by NPS MedicineWise in June 2017.

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