News > Drug resistant infections

The Royal Society, Te Apārangi, has released evidence based information about antimicrobial resistance which describes key concepts, the serious implications for NZ and globally, and recommendations for urgent action to reduce the impact. NZ has a high rate of antibiotic use for human treatment compared to rates in many countries.

The ‘Growing Up in New Zealand’ study found that on average each child in the cohort had 9.5 antibiotic courses by the age of five, with Māori and Pacific children, and those children living in areas with high socio-economic deprivation, receiving a higher proportion.

In NZ 95% of antibiotics for human consumption are dispensed in the community, and 5% are via hospital prescriptions. Antimicrobial medicines are also used as veterinary medicine and for horticultural treatment.

The Royal Society recommend practicing high standards of hygiene, taking antibiotics only as prescribed, and not insisting on unnecessary antibiotic treatment.

Fact sheets, and videos have been developed, discussing how bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics, how antibiotic-resistant bacteria spread, and what can be done about this -