Antibiotic resistance - bacteria are fighting back
13 November, 2018, 18:55
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said antibiotic resistance was one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development. "It is critical that farmers use medically important antibiotics only as necessary for the health and welfare of their animals to keep these compounds effective in the future". The report outlines discrepancies in consumption rates between countries, whereby the large difference in antibiotic use globally shows that some countries are probably overusing antibiotics while other countries may not have sufficient access to such medicines.
The richest countries use as much as 16 times more antibiotics, like Amoxicillin, than poor countries.
"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".
Use antibiotics wisely. When they are needed, take the prescribed dose and complete the whole course of treatment prescribed by your doctor.
A growing list of infections such as pneumonia, TB, blood poisoning and gonorrhoea are becoming harder to treat as antibiotics become less effective because of overuse.
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In Europe, which provided the most complete data for the report, the average antibiotic consumption was almost 18 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants per day. She added, "Since the rates of antibiotic resistance and the rates of antibiotic consumption as well as infection prevention practices vary from country to country, it is essential to tailor strategies to address specific needs".
During WAAW 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners will reach the general public, governments, health care professionals, farmers, veterinarians, and a range of other stakeholders through interactive games, infographics, posters and social media assets to raise awareness of the need to act on antimicrobial resistance.
"With 33 000 deaths each year as a outcome of an infection due to bacteria resistant to antibiotics and €1 billion in annual health-care expenditure, we need to ensure that antibiotics are used prudently and that infection prevention measures are in place in all settings across Europe", stated Andrea Ammon, Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). "By using antibiotics carefully, bacteria are less likely to become resistant to them", says Mr Kinsella.
The only way to preserve antibiotics is to use them only when needed. The agency supported 57 low- and middle-income countries with workshops, training sessions, and technical help, and it says it will continue to support these countries in their efforts to improve their surveillance systems, while also increasing the number of countries participating in the program.The WHO says data on antibiotic consumption will be crucial for helping countries establish national and local antimicrobial stewardship programs. Don't take any medicine, especially antibiotics, unless you really need them.
"According to our survey of 2,500 consumers, the belief that antibiotic resistance is affecting us now has more than doubled in recent years, from 11% in 2015 to 25% in 2017, indicating our campaigns have had an impact and people are more aware of the problem", said Mr Morris.
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