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Antimicrobial Resistance: Doing the Right Thing

Over the summer of 2015, I became increasingly concerned about this important local and global issue.

The danger of antimicrobial resistance is something we have been aware of for years. However, it often takes a specific event or a simple communication to jolt us as individuals to action. For me, it was attending a lecture in June 2015 by Professor Dame Sally Davies the Chief Medical Officer for England.

The messages Sally Davies conveyed kept coming to mind and I did some further research. ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ is very readable book* that I would recommend to you. To learn more about the issues quickly, you can watch this short video. There are many aspects to antimicrobial resistance and many actions that are needed. One of the key messages is that we need new antibiotics.

These issues can no longer be perceived as a problem ‘for tomorrow’ and I felt compelled to do something now.

I am not a microbiologist myself (although our networks do include specialists in anti-infectives and microbiology). How best could I contribute?

I am viewing this as a ‘doing the right thing’ project. This is what I have done so far:

In August 2015 I published a post on LinkedIn which has been widely viewed. By sharing some very clear and powerful material, I hoped to inform others (including writers) about the subject’s many different aspects. I started discussions in medical communication and medical writing groups. My intention was to increase awareness and stimulate discussion amongst communicators in Life Sciences and health matters. The involvement of professional associations and their networks enables writers to have the necessary support to develop their skills and improve the quality of their communications.

These are just a few small actions, let’s see what happens…

by Julie Charlesworth

* ‘The Drugs Don’t Work (Penguin Special): A Global Threat’ by Professor Dame Sally Davies, Dr Jonathan Grant and Professor Mike Catchpole (ISBN: 9780241968888)

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Update to original post:

November 2017
What a great choice of opening lecture at the EMWA Conference. Medical writers and aspiring medical writers gathered to hear an excellent lecture on the use of viruses against antibiotic resistant bacteria.
(see post on ABR 2017)

May 2018
Great to see EMWA introduced a new workshop ‘Bacterial infections and their treatments’ – particularly pertinent to the issue of antibacterial resistance.
Now, approved to be a regular workshop in their Professional Development Programme.