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School kids get the message about antibiotics

Antibiotics are not always the answer. That’s the message from 12-year-old Libby Thompson from Cust School in Rangiora, winner of the 2018 national antibiotic awareness poster competition.

Health Minister Dr David Clark has congratulated Libby and says her poster delivers exactly the right message for both communities and health care workers this Patient Safety Week, which runs from 4–10 November.

‘Having children like Libby understand the importance of antibiotics is vital – we need to protect these important medicines not just for ourselves but for future generations.’

Dr Clark says the competition was a great way to increase awareness about the growing global issue of antibiotic resistance and the importance of hand washing to prevent minor illnesses.

‘We know we use more antibiotics than we need to. There are simple ways we can reduce our dependence on them, such as washing our hands regularly and correctly so we don’t spread germs that cause sickness in the first place, and not prescribing antibiotics for a virus or cold.’

The national competition was a joint Health Quality & Safety Commission, Ministry of Health and ACC initiative.

The winning posters are being used to promote Patient Safety Week (which has a focus on hand hygiene to stop the spread of infections) and World Antibiotic Awareness Week (12–18 November).

More than 250 entries were received from students across the country.

A full list of award winners and their posters are available on the Health Quality & Safety Commission website.

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