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About the Program

What?  Do Bugs Need Drugs? (DBND) is a community education program about handwashing and responsible use of antibiotics.  Materials are available for healthcare professionals and the public that explain why antibiotic resistance is an issue and steps to prevent antibiotic resistance from developing.  Handwashing education is a key component of Do Bugs Need Drugs? materials because handwashing prevents infections and the need for treatment.

Why?  Inappropriate use of antibiotics is a global problem that limits the effectiveness of antibiotics in treating bacterial infections.  Bacterial infections that are resistant to the effects of antibiotics are serious and potentially life threatening.  Healthcare agencies around the world including the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the European Congress, have urged governments to address the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Where?  The Do Bugs Need Drugs? program started as a small six-month pilot in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada in 1998-99.  Currently it is a provincial program in Alberta and British Columbia.  Components of the program are used elsewhere in Canada, the United States and abroad.

Who?  Programs are available for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, schools, daycare centers, preschools, early childhood educators, occupational health nurses, human resources personnel, older adults, parents, children and the general public.

Dr. Edith Blondel-Hill, MD FRCP(C) is a founder and Medical Director of the Do Bugs Need Drugs? program.   Dr. Blondel-Hill received her training in medical microbiology and infectious diseases at the University of Alberta.  She currently is the Medical Director, Infection Control at the Kelowna General Hospital, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada having held previous positions at BC Children’s Hospital (Vancouver) and the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Dynacare Kasper Medical Laboratories (Edmonton).

Dr. Blondel-Hill has chaired advisory committees in Edmonton and Vancouver, and has been actively involved in guideline and policy development for antibiotic use and prescribing.  Dr. Blondel-Hill and Susan Fryters have shared a long working relationship and have co-authored Bugs and Drugs, an antimicrobial reference presently in its 4th edition. Additionally, Dr. Blondel-Hill is co-author of the Guide to Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing and Reporting.

Click here for more information about the program in Alberta and in British Columbia.

Alberta Program

Do Bugs Need Drugs? provides educational programs and materials for:

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Teachers
  • Schools
  • Daycares, preschools, early childhood educators
  • Workplaces, occupational health nurses, human resources personnel
  • Older adults, assisted living and long term care centres
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Public

Please contact us for information about activities in your community. We welcome your feedback and suggestions: info@dobugsneeddrugs.org or 1-800-931-9111

Do Bugs Need Drugs? is a program of Alberta Health Services.

British Columbia Program

Health care professional education includes providing:

  1. Educational materials to health care professionals and healthcare students
  2. Non-accredited educational sessions to health care professionals and health care students
  3. Accredited courses for physicians and pharmacists.

Public education incorporates teaching the three key messages to children, their parents, teachers, older adults in care, their caregivers and families and the general public through the:

  1. Daycare program
  2. Grade 2 program
  3. Kindergarten to Grade 3 Teachers Resources
  4. Older Adult program
  5. Media Campaign

Children’s educational programs are interactive sessions for children in preschool to grade three. Young children will learn the importance of washing their hands to stay healthy and to stop the spread of infections, the difference between viruses and bacteria, and when antibiotics should be used. Informational materials will be provided for the classroom or child care centre and for the children to take home to their families.

In addition to audience-specific educational programs, a comprehensive media campaign targets the general public through advertisements on Television, Radio and Public Transit. A Children’s Initiative targets children and their parents through children’s festivals, children’s magazines, parenting magazines and children’s websites.

Do Bugs Need Drugs? in British Columbia is funded by the BC Ministry of Health, Pharmaceutical Services Division and the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Click here for more information about Do Bugs Need Drugs? in British Columbia

Do Bugs Need Drugs? was developed by Capital Health (now Alberta Health Services), Towards Optimized Practice administered by the Alberta Medical Association, the University of Alberta and the Alberta Lung Association.

Please note that Do Bugs Need Drugs? does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes or services.  Any commercial sponsors or partners of the Do Bugs Need Drugs? program are not involved with decisions regarding content, authorship, policy, procedure or practice.  For more information about use of materials on this website, see Disclaimer.