PIERRE, S.D.(KELO-AM) – South Dakota’s effort to address the growing problem of antibiotic resistance is drawing national attention. The state’s antibiotic stewardship program is featured in the March Vital Signs publication on the subject from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Every year two million Americans are infected with bacteria that are resistant to current antibiotics and more than 20,000 die from those infections,” said Angela Jackley, healthcare-associated infections coordinator for the Department of Health. “It’s critical that we do everything we can to make sure antibiotics are used only when they’re really needed so they remain effective.”
Jackley said the department and its partners are working statewide to improve antibiotic prescribing. The effort includes training for health providers on drug resistance and appropriate use of antibiotics. Those involved in the effort include Avera Health, Regional Health, Sanford Health, hospitals, long term care facilities, clinics, the South Dakota Infection Control Council, the South Dakota Pharmacy Association, the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, the USD Sanford School of Medicine and the Indian Health Service.
CDC’s Vital Signs publication can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/. South Dakota’s story can be found under the related pages link. Vital Signs is issued monthly to offer recent data and calls to action for important public health issues. Along with being featured in the publication, South Dakota was also asked to participate in the Vital Signs town hall teleconference for national health officials to share lessons learned from its antibiotic stewardship program.
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Responding to current and emerging public health threats is a key objective of the department’s 2020 initiative.