Antimicrobial stewardship

He Ako Hiringa
13 December 2022

Antimicrobial stewardship

Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is about optimally managing infections and minimising drug-related harms, including antimicrobial resistance, toxicity, and cost.

Aotearoa New Zealand has the fourth highest rate of antibiotic prescribing among OECD countries, and we are seeing increased bacterial resistance as a result.1

But it’s not all about overuse – Māori and Pacific peoples are under-prescribed antibiotics and are more than twice as likely as non-Māori, non-Pacific peoples to not collect a prescription due to cost. Such inequities contribute to poor outcomes, such as the disproportionate rate of rheumatic fever in our Māori and Pacific populations.1

Collective action is needed. Click here to learn how you can practice antimicrobial stewardship.


  1. Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. Uniting Aotearoa against infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance. A report from the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Kaitohutohu Mātanga Pūtaiao Matua ki te Pirimia. Full report (pdf), December 2021. ISBN 978-0-473-60948-1.