From left: Sr Mumsy Gule, Sr Kogie Govender, Sr Philile Hlongwa, Rev Dr Lehlohonolo Mathibe, Sr Fiona Ward, Sr Jane Taylor and Sr Thandi Khumalo

Antibiotics Changed the World: Mathibe

University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences academic, Rev Dr Lehlohonolo Mathibe, recently told KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Region’s South African Society of Occupational Health Nurses (SASOHN) at Umkhumbane Community Hall in Chesterville, Durban, that antibiotics have done wonders for the medical world.

‘Antibiotics have changed the world,’ he said.

‘Infectious diseases (that) used to kill many people in the past can now be cured,’ said the Pharmacist and Pharmacology lecturer who is based at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine.

He was addressing more than 70 Occupational Healthcare Nurses and occupational healthcare student nurses from DUTat the event themed: Rational Prescribing of Antibiotics/Antimicrobial.

He reminded occupational healthcare nurses, with prescribing licences in particular, that they too are stewards of antibiotics. Therefore, they should ‘prescribe antimicrobial therapy only when it is beneficial to their patients – targeting therapy to the desired pathogens and using the appropriate dose and duration.’

He reminded the SASOHN members that providing their outpatients with simple and proper information, instructions and warnings about antibiotics therapy is the most important part of rational prescribing process.

Nurses shared stories about pressure that they often get from patients to prescribe antibiotics, even if there is no need, which causes drug-resistance.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini