NHS Tayside’s Antimicrobial Management Team (AMT) has teamed up with some ‘rocking’ community projects To support the World Health Organisation’s Antibiotic Awareness Week (12-19 November) and European Antibiotic Awareness Day (18 November).
AMT staff teamed up with @CarnoustieRocks, @Angus Rocks! Paint, Hide & Find!, @BroughtyFerry Rocks and other local groups to promote antibiotic awareness messages using bright and colourful painted rocks.
The team also hosted an antibiotic awareness stand on the main concourse of Ninewells yesterday.
Rock painting involves hiding specially painted rocks in and around public spaces across Tayside for others to find. This project aims to promote a fun, healthy and cost effective activity which the whole family can enjoy.
The special rocks, which also have antibiotic awareness messages painted on them, will be hidden throughout Tayside during Antibiotic Awareness Week. The ‘bug rocks’ could be hidden anywhere but people should check parks, hospital grounds and areas close to community pharmacies and schools. Check out NHS Tayside’s Facebook page for photo clues during the week.
If you are lucky enough to find one of the special ‘bugs’, please take a photograph and share it to our Facebook or Twitter page.
If you find a bug rock you can keep it or re-hide it in a safe place for someone else to find. Please make sure they are clearly visible so others can join in the fun.
People can also paint their own rocks if they feel inspired. You can buy rocks in many DIY or craft stores or even find them in your own garden. Visit @CarnoustieRocks, @AngusRocks! Paint, Hide & Find!, @BroughtyFerryRocks or other rock painting pages for more tips to ensure you stay safe and environmentally friendly. Always wash your hands after taking part in this activity.
Clinical lead for antimicrobial stewardship Dr Busi Mooka encouraged people to get involved in the campaign, saying, “We hope as many people as possible take part in searching for our rock bugs to help us raise awareness of appropriate antibiotic use. This is a fun way of getting local people involved and helps us spread the #KeepAntibioticsWorking message.
“There is simple advice that people can follow on how to avoid untreatable infections and the need for antibiotics.
“Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats facing us today as without effective antibiotics, many infections will become increasingly difficult to treat.
“If you take antibiotics when you don’t need them, the next time you get an infection it is more likely that antibiotics will not work, making it harder to treat. This is even more likely for children who have taken antibiotics.”
There are simple things we can all do to reduce the risk of untreatable infections affecting ourselves, our families and our friends:
Hand washing – Wash our hands regularly with soap and water. Washing hands properly (at least 30 seconds) especially after using the bathroom, before and after preparing food and before eating, is the single best way to prevent the spread of infections and keep your family healthy.
Vaccinations – If the NHS offers you or your family vaccinations, accepting them will reduce the risk of serious infections.
Feeling unwell? Ask for advice to help you feel better – Our bodies are good at fighting off many infections on their own, including coughs, colds and sore throats. Symptoms can be very unpleasant but are often not helped or shortened by antibiotics. Visit your local pharmacy for advice on managing your symptoms while you are feeling unwell.
Prescriptions for antibiotics – If you are prescribed antibiotics, carefully follow the directions given on the label. They will work best if you take them regularly and don’t miss any doses.
Antibiotics can only safely be prescribed by a health professional (e.g. doctor, dentist or nurse) who has examined you.
- Do not try to buy antibiotics without a prescription
- Do not save antibiotics for later use
- Do not use leftover antibiotics from previous treatments
- Do not share antibiotics with other people
Contact your pharmacist, GP or NHS 24 if you need further advice about your illness.