Silva-Fletcher AYONA, The Royal Veterinary College, United Kingdom
Yasodhara GUNASEKERA, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Edoardo ZULATO, Department of Psychology, University of Milano-Bicocca , Italy
Risa MORRIMOTO, SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom
What do the public and health professionals know about antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance?
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global problem that is particularly acute in countries where antibiotics are sold without the need for a prescription. In these countries self-medication by consumption of over-the-counter medicines is common for minor health ailments and for infections that may not have a bacterial cause. In addition to inappropriate and excessive use by the human population, antibiotics are widely used as growth promotors and for prophylaxis against infections in livestock production. An increasing concern is the rapid spread of AMR among wildlife, as shown by the presence of resistant bacteria in the diverse ecosystems. A major factor contributing to the spread of AMR is likely to be the discharge of untreated wastewater from hospitals, livestock and poultry farms, aquaculture farms, and human dwellings into the environment. The introduction of technical, social and legal actions to reduce the spread of AMR is hindered by lack of awareness and knowledge amongst health professionals and the public.
Public engagement in combating AMR is one of the main strategies that has been proposed by the WHO. To develop public engagement with awareness campaigns and training requires a sound understanding regarding the existing health and medicinal knowledge, health-related behaviours and the socio-economic status of different communities. It is essential to conduct detailed studies using surveys and interviews to establish the baseline knowledge, behaviours and socio-economic conditions to develop effective communication programmes that lead to impact.
The objective of this symposium is to use data from Sri Lanka as a case study Europe (over time and across regions) to discuss and explore:
the extent of understanding the public have regarding the term ‘antibiotics’, ability to identify antibiotics from a list of medicines, when and how to use and dispose antibiotics and knowledge about AMR
socio economic factors that lead to health-related behaviors, relative perceptions of risk taking in health and how to develop communication and training
investigate the relationship between awareness regarding antibiotics and AMR and wider science culture
Document 1 : Document 1