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IOL One of the main causes of antibiotic resistance is overusing antibiotics and prescribing them inappropriately. With this World Antibiotic Awareness Week, experts have raised their concern over the persistent overuse and misuse of antibiotics as well as inappropriate prescriptions for them. 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. They would also use the occasion to educate the public on the prevention of the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said antibiotic resistance was one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development. The organisation's Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System unveiled earlier this year spoke of the widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance. It said there was a noticeable resistance among 500000 people with suspected bacterial infections across 22 low-income countries. The WHO agreed with experts around the globe that since the discovery of antibiotics they had served as the cornerstone of modern medicine. “But the persistent overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human and animal health have led to the spread of antibiotic resistance,” it said. Antibiotic resistance occurs when microbes, such as bacteria, become resistant to the drugs used to treat them. Amid world statistics showing sky-rocketing statistics of the resistance, the Centre for Healthcare, Associated Infections, Antimicrobial Resistance and Mycoses at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, said it supported the WHO's Global Action Plan. This is through collecting antibiotic susceptibility testing data from both public and private healthcare facilities on resistance rates among specific bacteria. The organisation also said it aimed to inform and guide the Department of Health on action to avert looming disaster. A study conducted in Cape Town has shown that prescribers of antibiotics in the private sector were aware of the problem of resistance, but felt pressure from patients to prescribe them. The study says of the 264 prescriber respondents, 95.8% believed anti-bacterial resistance was a significant problem in the country and 66.5% felt pressure from patients to prescribe antibiotics. It said those with higher knowledge scores reported positive prescribing behaviours, suggesting that more education was needed to tackle the problem. WHO, on its website, has guidelines for people to prevent antibiotic resistance. Some of the prevention tips include only using antibiotics when prescribed by a certified health professional; never demand antibiotics if a health worker says you do not need them; always follow health worker's advice when using antibiotics or never share or use leftover antibiotics.
Created at 2018/12/05 09:03 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2018/12/05 09:03 AM by Mediclinic