Do Bugs Need Drugs (Alberta)
The focus of the Do Bugs Need Drugs program is to make antibiotic education a part of good primary health care, which contributes to the health, understanding, and satisfaction of the patients and their families.
Originally founded by Dr. Edith Blondel-Hill in 1998, the Do Bugs Need Drugs program was first developed as a short-term grant-funded project in Grande Prairie with a focus on handwashing and educating the public on proper antibiotic use. A Grade Two program, which trains student nurses to teach handwashing to elementary school students and a Guide to Wise Use of Antibiotics were, with the later translated in the early 2000s into 10 languages.
The Do Bugs Need Drugs program became a provincial community Antimicrobial Stewardship program of Alberta Health Services (AHS) in 2013 and is operated within the Communicable Disease Control area of AHS.
In 2005 an independent British Columbia program was started at the BC Centre for Disease Control; since then, the Alberta and British Columbia chapters have partnered to develop educational materials, professional resources, and strategies. In BC, Do Bugs Need Drugs is part of the larger Community Antimicrobial Stewardship program.
In 2018, the Guide to Wise Use of Antibiotics was revised and starting in 2019, the guide has been translated into many languages used by both Indigenous and immigrant communities. With the launch of the new website in 2022, we are developing ways of distributing these resources more widely.
We looked to many experts (past and present) for their knowledge and suggestions. In Alberta, we would like to highlight the contributions of volunteer committee expert advisors who, along with Communicable Disease Control and other AHS experts, guide and direct the program.
Member of the volunteer committee include:
- Edith Blondel-Hill, MD, FRCP, Clinical Professor of Medical Microbiology, is the founder and scientific director of the program (as well as co-author of the prescribing aide Bugs & Drugs).
- Susan Fryters, BScPharm, ACPR, APA, is a practicing infectious disease pharmacist with Alberta Health Services, and secretary of the provincial AHS Anti-Microbial Stewardship committee (and co-author of Bugs & Drugs).
- Joan Robinson, MD, Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Alberta, practicing physician at the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
- With thanks as well to Dr. David Patrick at the BCCDC, who weighs in occasionally.
We would also like to acknowledge the organizations and individuals’ who supported the translation of the Guide to Wise Use into multiple languages. Thank you to:
- Somali Canadian Women & Children Association
- FOCAS Canada (for Oromo)
- the Multicultural Health Brokers (S’gaw Karen & Amharic)
- First Nations University of Canada
- the Eritrean Community Association of Calgary
- the Edmonton Korean Canadian Association
- the Edmonton Viets Association
- the University of Alberta Black Students Association ( for Swahili)
- Catholic Social Services (for Pashto).
- the Bangladeshi Students Association at the University of Alberta
- within AHS, busy medical professionals volunteered their extremely limited free time to edit and explain issues with the Urdu, Chinese, Tagalog, & Arabic versions.
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This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an “as is”, “where is” basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied, or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands, or suits arising from such use.