AYRSHIRE medics are leading the charge on stopping one of the biggest threats to public health.

NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Antimicrobial Management Team (AMT) has been helping to raise awareness of the importance of protecting antibiotics for future use.

Antibiotic resistance is a major public health threat. Only 70 years after the introduction of antibiotic drugs we are facing the possibility of a world without effective drugs to treat bacterial infections. To raise awareness, European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) is held every year on November 18.

Kayleigh Hamilton, Antimicrobial Pharmacist, explains: “Antibiotic resistance is set to rise and it’s predicted that in just over 30 years antibiotic resistance will kill more people worldwide than cancer and diabetes. It’s so important that the public knows this is happening and the steps they can take to cut the unnecessary use of antibiotics. EAAD and the UK’s Antibiotic Guardian campaign promotes the sensible use of antibiotics to help stop resistant bacteria from developing and keep antibiotics effective for the use of future generations.”

To get local children and families involved in antibiotic awareness, the AMT held a colouring-in competition in the children’s wards and neonatal and day surgery units at University Hospital Crosshouse.

Children were asked to colour in a poster of an antibiotic hero capturing the evil bacteria and make a pledge to protect the future use of antibiotics. The lucky winners were Abigail Meney,10, from Ayr and Eva Lennon, 6, from Kilmarnock.

For more information and to make a pledge, go to www.antibioticguardian.com.