Antibiotic resistance - bacteria are fighting back

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The world Health Organization warned Monday 12 November against the rise in unsafe, the consumption of antibiotics in some countries, but also under-consumption in other regions, leading to the emergence of "superbugs" life-threatening.

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

"We can help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by being part of the solution". 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 newer antibiotics have been found to be less effective, have more side effects, cost more, and contribute to antibiotic resistance. These compounds, known as broad-spectrum antibiotics, are used to treat the most common types of infections - they're also the cause of most antibiotic resistance. The goal is to encourage the general public, health workers, and policymakers to employ best practices in antibiotic use. According to the Vermont Department of Health, this Halloween season brought with it an outbreak of a stomach bug that is resistant to most antibiotics that would be used to treat it.

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The lowest score was for Burundi, with just 4.44 DDD/1,000 people, which the World Health Organization said reflected limited data. Africa lacks data on the scope and scale of antibiotic resistance.

This year, in commemoration of World Antibiotic Awareness Week, the MoHASHS in collaboration with the TCI Hospital has planned a number of events/activities. When you're sick and visiting your healthcare provider, be sure to ask whether antibiotics are really needed. "Without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly unsafe. To avoid this, more people need to understand that antibiotics should only be used when they are needed and prescribed appropriately, because the consequences of not doing so are considerable". The resulting resistance that has built up over time has become a global health emergency leading the UN General Assembly to include AMR as a priority health issue to be tackled alongside responses to Ebola and HIV. In many low- and middle-income countries, where high mortality rates from infectious diseases and low rates of use of antibiotics were observed, resistance can occur when people cannot afford a full course of treatment or only have access to substandard or falsified medicines.

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are not a problem of the future. Keeping up to date with your vaccinations also reduces the chance of catching an infection that needs to be treated with an antimicrobial.

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"New Zealand has a robust regulatory framework for managing antibiotics and other veterinary medicines".

Take prescribed antibiotics exactly as directed by your healthcare provider.

Dr Kofi Afatse, the FAO Representative, said antibiotic resistance was becoming a public concern and called for measures to counter the menace at all levels through intensive public awareness creation.

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