Antibiotics have been used for the past seven decades to treat patients suffering from various bacterial infections. The antibiotics have been used for long and hence the bacterial organisms they are supposed to kill have been adapting to them. The result has been that the drugs are less effective. According to Fonseca, Santos, Costa, Lencastre and Tavares (2012), antibiotic resistance has become a major health problem. The resistance has been contributed to the irrational use of the antibiotics such as failure to complete the prescribed doses or failure to follow the drug taking schedule as provided by pharmacists. Thus, there is the need for education programs to promote proper use of antibiotics. The following paper outlines a design for health education program about antibiotic resistance targeting young people aged between 9 and 12 years.
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Antibiotic Resistance Health Education Program
The education program will be integrated into the learning curriculum and should run for duration of three months. The program will be designed to impact individual values, attitudes, and beliefs, to advance, support health-enhancing behaviors, build the competence of the students on good health practices, and to provide basic health knowledge for the group. The teaching of the program will entail both theoretical and demonstration programs. The demonstration will entail the use of past resistance cases to depict the effect of the irrational use of drugs.
The program will be based on social cognitive theory. The theory outlines how people acquire and uphold desired behavioral patterns. The theory is based on the interaction of personal, environmental and behavioral factors. Studies have shown that the application of the theory helps in developing an understanding of key health aspects and increases positive outcomes such as high levels of efficacy in the target behavior change (Bandura, 2001). The antibiotic resistance has increased due to misuse of the antibiotics in animal husbandry and in the human health care. The result has been the spread of the resistance which poses a great danger to the management of the diseases.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.), effective teaching curriculum can help in the development of essential skills that are needed in order to adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. The aim of the current program is to equip the young generation with information in order to modify their behaviors in relation to the use of antibiotics. It is worth noting that the age group is entering the adolescence stage where they like experimenting and have a great deal of independence, hence; they can use drugs without parental supervision. The program will be aimed at impacting knowledge, behaviors and reinforce positive attitudes which will ensure that young people understand the risk of misusing antibiotics. A study carried out by Fonseca et al. (2012) to enhance the understanding about bacteria, antibiotics and antibiotic resistance among high school students was found to provide an elaborate picture of antibiotic resistance and thus increase the awareness about antibiotic resistance. In addition, the weeklong program was found to enhance the personal mitigating factors.
Antibiotic resistances present a complex situation in the treatment of bacterial infections. Therefore, there is the need for programs to promote prudent use of antibiotics amongst the future generations. The programs targeting the young generation should be based on changing the beliefs, increasing knowledge and demonstrating to the young generations the dangers of misusing antibiotics. The social cognitive theory addresses the behavioral, personal and environmental factors hence its preference for preventive programs.
Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentive perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 52(1), 1-26.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Characteristics of an effective health education curriculum. Web.
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Fonseca, M. J., Santos, C. L., Costa, P., Lencastre, L., & Tavares, F. (2012). Increasing awareness about antibiotic use and resistance: A hands-on project for high school students. Plos One, 7(9), 1-10.