Speakers warn against needless use of antibiotics

Laverne Higgins
November 13, 2018

The launch of the week-long event was attended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Dr Owen-Laws Kaluwa, and officials of other organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), Hope for Future Generation (HFFG) and the Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

On the occasion of World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2018, we are pleased to partner up with MMIDSP, which is leading the way for creating awareness on AMR in Pakistan, said Wajeeh.

World Antibiotic Awareness Week occurs annually in November, this year running from Monday 12 to Sunday 18 November 2018. As a result of infection with drug-resistant bacteria an estimated 700 000 people die each year worldwide.

Dr Claire Turner, course director, said: "There is an urgent need to combat anti-microbial resistance, which is causing thousands of deaths every year and making it increasingly hard to treat infectious diseases".

Her words: "These resistant bacteria may infect humans and animals, making infections like pneumonia, tuberculosis and gonorrhoea harder to treat".

In countries without standard treatment guidelines, antibiotics are often over-prescribed by health workers and veterinarians and over-used by the public.

But the World Health Organization is also concerned about the under-consumption of antibiotics.

Japan's overall consumption of antibiotics, at 14.19 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants, was about half that of South Korea, but 1.1 percent of Japanese consumption was in the "reserve" category, far more than 0.2 percent in South Korea, the report showed.

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Never use "leftover" antibiotics or share your antibiotics with others.

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.

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.

"We can slow down antibiotic resistance in Australia by only using antibiotics when they are really needed".

Bacteria can become resistant when patients use antibiotics they don't need or when they don't conclude their treatments. 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.

The WHO is planning to integrate antimicrobial consumption data into its Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System IT platform to provide reliable data on antibiotic consumption and resistance. And doctors warn, if the abuse of these drugs continues, humanity will regress to the times when antibiotics didn't exist, a scary prospect indeed.

"We can help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by being part of the solution".

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