The general public needs to be educated regarding the dangers of antibiotic resistance. But these issues are complex.
A recent study in Eurosurveillance, “Reducing demand for antibiotic prescriptions: evidence from an online survey of the general public on the interaction between preferences, beliefs and information, United Kingdom, 2015,” found that information campaigns to reduce antimicrobial resistance may risk a paradoxical consequence of actually increasing public demand for antibiotics.
I think we need to refocus our efforts in antimicrobial stewardship away from the general public, towards the medical providers (doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, etc). Clinicians need to understand the grave danger of antimicrobial resistance. Then they can teach the general public. We need creative educational campaigns to teach medical providers about the overuse of antibiotics. Campaigns can include music and the arts, and can help make antimicrobial stewardship programs more visible. Our “Cultural Strategy” is critically important.
I am reminded of the microbiology songs written by my medical school professor Dr Helen Conrad Davies at the University of Pennsylvania. I don’t remember many lectures from Penn Med, but I definitely remember Prof Davies!