Toolbox is a new web-based resource from ReAct that provides inspiration and guidance for anyone interested in tackling the rising problem of antibiotic resistance. ReAct (Action on Antibiotic Resistance) is an independent global network raising awareness and taking action on antibiotic resistance – it invites you to join its mission.

The ReAct Toolbox contains a wealth of information, including practical advice on starting initiatives, links to a huge array of external resources, and all the vital background information and science you need to really understand the problem.

It is divided into easy-to-access sections, starting with a page detailing the history of antibiotics and how we came to end up in our current situation. It also delves deeper into some of the science about bacteria and how antibiotics work, and even has a page providing access to data, studies and maps that gives a broader perspective on what’s happening.

Some people may be thinking “Why does this matter to me?” This is where Toolbox is particularly helpful. It shows how antibiotic resistant infections can affect anyone anywhere on the planet and reminds us that very few new antibiotics are being development. So we may feel safe right now, but if all our current antibiotics become ineffective, minor illnesses could suddenly become life threatening. Less than 100 years ago, before the discovery of penicillin, common infections such as pneumonia could easily kill. This could start happening again if we don’t take action now.

How does all this link to food and farming? The ReAct Toolbox has a page on non-human antibiotic use, which explains that far more antibiotics are used in treating healthy animals than in treating sick humans. They are used mainly in intensive livestock production to encourage growth and prevent illness spreading when animals are kept in confined conditions. As some antibiotics are used in both humans and animals, this increases the spread of resistant bacteria. So, one of the ways we can help stop the spread of antibiotic resistance is to push for reduced use in livestock production and buy meat that has not been reared intensively indoors.

Are you feeling fired up and ready to take action? Toolbox gives advice on how to set up your own initiative, make use of social media, and build partnerships and collaborations. It also provides a huge amount of material to help you do this, including games, training manuals, online courses, presentations, fact sheets, posters, promotional material and videos.

If you want to learn more and to get serious about antibiotic resistance then this is the place to start.

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