World Health Organization report cautions against antibiotics overuse worldwide

Misuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance

Misuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance

The week-long event will take place from Monday 12 November as part of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) World Antibiotic Awareness Week campaign to increase understanding about the rise of bacterial infections that no longer respond to antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics are not an everlasting panacea for all illnesses - they don't ever work against viruses and using them inappropriately drives antibiotic resistance and results in drug resistant infections which can't be treated.

Some major contributing factors for antibiotic resistance in India are: High consumption of broad spectrum antibiotics, easy availability of antibiotics, including combinations, inappropriate use by people with inadequate knowledge of their use, rampant antibiotic use in animals raised for food, environmental contamination from discharge of effluents from antibiotic manufacturing units to rivers and lakes. These antimicrobials are used to treat common infections.

Understand that it is possible to pass on antibiotic-resistant bacteria to others - friends, family and other people in the community.

Why is Antibiotic Resistance Dangerous?

"If you have an infection caused by a bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics, it is a more serious infection, more hard to treat, and it can spread to your friends and family".

"Members of the public should not demand antibiotics from health workers based on information obtained from the Internet; they should rather seek advice from health professionals for appropriate action", he added.

In 2018, NPS MedicineWise published research** about the impact of antimicrobial-resistance programs and antibiotic dispensing for upper respiratory tract infection in Australia. "A multipronged approach - including stewardship to protect the utility of antibiotics, incentives to spur development of new antibiotics, and investment in research and public health initiatives - will be necessary to turn the tide against antibiotic resistance".

He thus directed regulatory agencies including the Food and Drugs Authority, the Pharmacy Council, the Traditional and Alternate Medicine Council as well as other health professional bodies to step up their game to effectively regulate the access and use of antimicrobials.

"The over-consumption and under-consumption of antibiotics are the major causes of antimicrobial resistance", pointed out Suzanne Hill, head of the unit of essential medicines at World Health Organization, in a press release.

The DHB wants to get the message across that antibiotic resistance caused by the misuse or overuse of antibiotics is one of the biggest threats to global health today.

Don't share antibiotics with others.

I think too many people take antibiotics for granted, rather than treating them with the respect they deserve.

Antibiotics, while very useful medicines invented to fight off infections, are becoming less effective due to over-prescribing physicians, veterinarians, dentists and their misuse by farmers and agronomists.

The repercussions of antibiotic resistance can be devastating. The pipeline for new antibiotics has nearly run dry.

He called on governments, funding agencies and the private sector to invest and work together to secure safe, effective medicines for generations to come.

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