Global concerns over prevalence of antibiotic resistance

Global concerns over prevalence of antibiotic resistance

Originally published on Personal Tech MD

The week-long event will take place from Monday 12 November as part of the World Health Organisation's (WHOWorld Antibiotic Awareness Week campaign to increase understanding about the rise of bacterial infections that no longer respond to antibiotic treatment.

The term antimicrobials is used, pharmaceutically, to describe drugs used to prevent and treat parasitic, bacterial, viral and fungal infections.

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. The newer antibiotics have been found to be less effective, have more side effects, cost more, and contribute to antibiotic resistance.

More than three quarters (76%) of those surveyed say they are aware that antibiotic-resistant infections make medical procedures like surgery, organ transplants and cancer treatment much more unsafe. Even Fleming himself expressed his fear regarding antibiotics overuse, saying that there will be a time when the public will demand the drug, leading to an era of abuse. On the other hand, "reserve" antibiotics - powerful last resort antibiotics used to treat hard cases of multidrug resistant bacteria - made up only 2% of total antibiotic consumption.

In 2018, NPS MedicineWise published research** about the impact of antimicrobial-resistance programs and antibiotic dispensing for upper respiratory tract infection in Australia. More than two million people in the United States get infections that are resistant to antibiotics annually, and at least 23,000 people die as a result, according to the CDC. Experts speaking at a seminar, organised in Dhaka early this week in observance of the "World Antibiotic Awareness Week-2018", outlined the dangers of indiscriminate use of antibiotics. "There's more work needed to educate individuals, families and communities about this problem-it really is time to take antibiotic resistance seriously", Mr Morris said. These are recommended by World Health Organization as first or second-line treatment for common infections.

"I encourage all health professionals to read the recommendations to ensure that when antibiotics are prescribed, they are absolutely needed".

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are not a problem of the future.

The WHO introduced a classification system past year, saying penicillin-type drugs were recommended as the first line of defence, and that other drugs, on the "reserve" list, were a last resort and only for use when absolutely necessary.

She added that antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria (not humans or animals) become resistant to the active ingredients in these medicines.

During Antibiotic Awareness Week Southern DHB patients, visitors and staff are being educated about antibiotic resistance through displays in the hospital foyer of Dunedin Hospital and slides on the TV screens. These antimicrobials are used to treat common infections.

The world urgently needs to change the way it prescribes and uses antibiotics.

Always finish your course of antibiotics.

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