Students fight antibiotic resistance

3 April 2019, 12:21 | Updated: 3 April 2019, 12:28

Students at Gloucestershire College

Young people in Gloucestershire are helping tackle one of the biggest threats to our health.

Antibiotic resistance is seen by health professionals to be a global threat due to more people becoming immune to the potentially life-saving effects of current antibiotics from overuse and misuse.

As well as affecting more basic treatments for cuts or infections this will mean that operations and procedures currently considered routine, such as hip replacements or cesarean sections, will become increasingly dangerous.

To try and stop the situation from getting worse Gloucestershire County Council is starting a new awareness raising campaign with a particular focus on young people aged 16 to 24, who are the highest users of antibiotics.

Dave McConalogue is a consultant in public health with the council. He said: "Whilst we talk a lot about how antibiotic resistance will affect us in the future it's actually affecting us now and we have patients within Gloucestershire who are dealing with this problem on a daily basis.

"Young people aren't really engaged in this topic but it's about their future. They also have a key role in terms of some really simple actions they can take to protect themselves and their families against antibiotic resistance."

To help with this campaign the county council ran a competition to come up with some original ideas and concepts they could use across billboards, bus adverts and dedicated interactive web pages and social media activities.

The winning team came from Gloucestershire College, where student Jamie Ackrill said: "I think as younger people we sometimes think it won't affect us, but it will.

"Simple things like cuts and bruises or just falling over when you're playing sport, you won't have antibiotics there to save you. It basically makes a lot of things a lot more dangerous than they are nowadays.

"If things don't change now, 90 thousand people will die from antibiotic resistant related problems by 2050. That's going to be us when we're older so our generation will hit that problem." 

Jamie and other students have designed some simple colour coded posters plus animations focusing on showing people what antibiotic resistance is, how it will influence us and how we can prevent it.

These will begin to be seen all around Gloucestershire during April.