WHO maps dangerous misuse of antibiotics

14 November, 2018, 09:48 | Author: Sue Riley
  • The World Health Organisation warned that antibiotics consumption is dangerously high in some countries driving the emergence of deadly superbug infections while other countries may not have sufficient access to these life-saving medicines

Ahead of World Antibiotic Awareness Week (12-18 November 2018), NPS MedicineWise CEO Steve Morris says high use of antibiotics in Australia is increasing the risk of antibiotic resistance.

"Without effective antibiotics and other antimicrobials, we will lose our ability to treat common infections like pneumonia".

Health providers and stakeholders said they were willing to use this week to educate the public about what antibiotics were, antibiotic resistance, appropriate use of antibiotics and the spread of resistance. There are countries where antibiotics can be bought for human or animal use without a prescription which makes the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance worse.

He said antibiotic resistance had come about due to many complicated factors and needed to be tackled holistically. "We need to use the antibiotics that are still effective as wisely as possible, ensuring they are only given to patients and animals who really need them", says Dr Millar.

Staff and students at Imperial are being encouraged to hand over their unused antibiotics as part of an annual amnesty.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics, such as third-generation cephalosporins, quinolones and carbapenems, are categorised as Watch antibiotics that should be used with caution because of their high potential to cause antimicrobial resistance and/or their side-effects.

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"Our research identified an estimated 14% reduction in the number of dispensed antibiotics compared to what would have been expected if NPS MedicineWise programs had not been implemented, which shows these programs are contributing to addressing this complex problem", he said. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result, according to the CDC. One of the aims of the event is to start a conversation about why people need to change their behaviours and attitudes towards antibiotics. This is grossly unfair because over prescription in affluent countries is causing bacterial strains to adapt, which can then move to poorer countries where there was too little antibiotic use to begin with.

Last year, we were given over 290 tablets or capsules across a range of antibiotics including co-amoxiclav, Erythromycin, Ciprofloxacin and Pyrazinamide. Eventually, they become resistant to the drug, and the infections caused by them become hard to cure.Your Antibiotic Abuse is Taking India to a Primitive Age Without Antibiotics, Says Experts.

Avoid prescribing antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infection.

Never share antibiotics or prescribe it to someone else.

Dr Kofi Afatse, the FAO Representative, said antibiotic resistance was becoming a public concern and called for measures to counter the menace at all levels through intensive public awareness creation.

From 2019, World Health Organization aims to integrate antimicrobial consumption data into their Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS) IT platform to provide a single place for data on both consumption and resistance.

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