REGIONAL health bosses are supporting a global campaign to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance – and are urging everyone to do their bit.

Antibiotics kill bacteria or prevent them from spreading. But because bacteria are adapting to survive, medicines are becoming less effective.

Drug-resistant infections killed 1.25 million people worldwide in 2019, and the figure is expected to rise to ten million deaths per year by 2050 without action.

Dr James Thomas, medical director with NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, says: "If antibiotics stop working to treat infections, this might stop us from carrying out common healthcare activities. It could prevent us from performing major operations, or giving cancer treatments where infections are common.

"We may see more premature babies, children and adults on intensive care dying from infections.

"Already, a growing number of infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and gonorrhoea are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used are increasingly less effective.

"That’s why reducing antibiotic use and antibiotic-resistant infections is one of the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership’s big ambitions, but we need the support of all who live and work here to achieve that goal."

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