Do Bugs Need Drugs?

Created in Canada, Do Bugs Need Drugs is a community education program that provides information on the importance of handwashing and the responsible use of antibiotics. Created for healthcare professionals and members of the public, campaign materials were designed to share the steps individuals can take to prevent antibiotic resistance from developing. Previous research identifying handwashing as a primary method for preventing infections influenced the decision to promote this behavior as a key component of the program. Initially launched as a six-month pilot program in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, Do Bugs Need Drugs eventually expanded to become a provincial program in Alberta and British Columbia. Program materials created for healthcare professionals and healthcare students included non-accredited and accredited educational sessions and courses. Educational programs designed for children included interactive sessions where they could practice handwashing, learn the difference between viruses and bacteria, and gain an understanding of when antibiotics should be used. Informational materials were also provided to schools and childcare centers so that children could take program materials home to their families. Additionally, a comprehensive media campaign was used to promote the program, targeting the general public through advertisements on television, radio, and public transit, as well as magazines and websites targeting parents and children.

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