There’s no question that antibiotics when given appropriately, save lives. But they’re not always used appropriately. Antibiotic overuse doesn’t just lead to drug-resistant superbugs, it may also permanently wipe out the body’s good bacteria.
We are nearing the post-antibiotic era, which means our body will no longer be able to fight bacterial infections because we’ll develop resistance to all antibiotics known to man.
Sometimes, when a person is infected with some bacteria, some of the bacteria may already be antibiotic resistant. When this happens, the antibiotics kill all of the nonresistant bacteria but leave the resistant bacteria behind. This then allows for the antibiotic-resistant bacteria to grow and give their drug-resistant properties to other bacteria.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses the most serious challenge to public health the world over. It is complex, multi-dimensional and threatens the prevention and treatment of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi.
Common infections in neonatal and intensive care are increasingly becoming extremely difficult, sometimes impossible to treat. Patients receiving cancer treatment, organ transplants and other advanced therapies are particularly vulnerable to infection.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.” WHO calls for restrictions in antibiotics usage in food-producing animals to prevent antimicrobial resistance.
India needs interdisciplinary studies to tackle antibiotic resistance. Experts called for stronger action from all sectors to stop the misuse and overuse of antibiotics to combat resistance on the occasion of the third World Antibiotic Awareness Week on November 13-19.
Antibiotics can be life-saving when used appropriately, but their misuse can result in dire consequences. If antibiotics are prescribed for you, please ensure that you ask your doctor if they are necessary and if they are, follow the instructions given to you.
Good management of antibiotics can half the number of people picking-up drug-resistant infections. Practice good hygiene such as hand-washing and use appropriate infection control procedures.