The World’s first Antibiotic Awareness week will be held from November 16 to 22. The campaign aims to increase the awareness of global antibiotic resistance and to encourage the best practices among the general public, health workers, policy makers and the agriculture sector to avoid the further emergence and spread of anitbiotic resistance. This campaign will be launched under the aegis of the World health organisation.
Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines. Bacteria, not humans, become antibiotic resistant. These bacteria may then infect humans and are harder to treat than non-resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic resistance leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays and increased mortality. In the European Union alone, drug-resistant bacteria are estimated to cause 25,000 deaths and cost more than US$1.5 billion every year in healthcare expenses and productivity losses. The world urgently needs to change the way we prescribe and use antibiotics. Even if new medicines are developed, without behaviour change, antibiotic resistance will remain a major threat. Behaviour changes must also include actions to reduce the spread of infections through vaccination, hand washing and good food hygiene.
Some of the key facts of antibiotic resistance include
1. Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health today. It can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.
2. Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.
3. A growing number of infections—such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea—are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.
4. Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality.
Antibiotic resistance is accelerated by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, as well as poor infection prevention and control. Steps can be taken at all levels of society to reduce the impact and limit the spread of resistance.
The people can Preventing infections by regularly washing hands, practicing good food hygiene, avoiding close contact with sick people and keeping vaccinations up to date. They must use antibiotics when prescribed by a certified health professional. The patients should always take the full prescription and never use the left-over antibiotics. The antibiotics should be never shared with others.