Preserving Antibiotics now and into the Future – Chief Public Health Officer of Canada’s Spotlight Report 2019
Earlier this month, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, published a report highlighting the importance of using antibiotics responsibly in order to prevent antibiotic resistance.
The report highlights an ever-increasing trend of unnecessary antibiotic use, and how this contributes to a reduction in their efficacy as bacteria that cause infections develop resistance to medications.
“The more and more we use antibiotics unnecessarily, the less effective they will become. Many Canadians have already experienced serious infections with antibiotic-resistance bacteria or know someone who has. A world without effective antibiotics is not one we would wish on future generations.”
- Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada
Below are some of the basic recommendations for patients, providers and health system leaders outlined in the report:
Patients can help prevent the problem of antibiotic resistance by:
- Keeping vaccinations up to date
- Protecting yourself from infection
- Speaking with a health care provider before using antibiotics
Healthcare providers can help to reduce the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics by:
- Talking with patients about antibiotics
- Staying up to date on prescription guidelines and best practices
- Leveraging available tools that promote appropriate antibiotic use
Healthy System Leaders
Health system leaders can work together to address antibiotic use by:
- Sharing knowledge on appropriate use
- Promoting best antibiotic prescribing practices
- Investing in research and surveillance to better understand use and resistance patterns
Evidence Synthesis Summaries
As part of the report, the Chief Public Health Officer has also included the following evidence synthesis summaries which include a literature review for the sociocultural drivers and community interventions related to antimicrobial use. These include public knowledge, demographics, patient expectations, and power dynamics during medical consultations; as well as delaying antibiotic prescription, involving pharmacists in stewardship programs, providing feedback to physicians, and creating standardized guidelines for responsible prescribing.
- Evidence Synthesis Summary: Social and Cultural Drivers of Antimicrobial Use
- Evidence Synthesis Summary: Interventions to Address Antimicrobial Use