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This year, in the spirit of One Health, the WHO European Region will mark the 4th annual World Antibiotic Awareness Week on 12-18 November, by cohesively working together with different sectors to protect human, animal and environment health.

"Many people don't realise that bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, not humans or animals and that anyone at any age can get an antibiotic resistant infection".

Every year we have seen an increase in the number of antibiotics surrendered and the number of people making a pledge to protect antibiotics by signing up to Public Health England's Antibiotic Guardian Campaign. "The idea there is to use our antibiotics more wisely, so that we can sustain the life of the antibiotics that we have available to us to use", said Smith. Further, about a third (29%) would be dissatisfied if their doctor did not prescribe an antibiotic for their child's viral infection. Diseases that were once treated by antibiotics like pneumonia, salmonellosis, tuberculosis and salmonellosis are becoming increasingly harder to treat due to antibiotic resistance.

He thus directed regulatory agencies including the Food and Drugs Authority, the Pharmacy Council, the Traditional and Alternate Medicine Council as well as other health professional bodies to step up their game to effectively regulate the access and use of antimicrobials.

Some major contributing factors for antibiotic resistance in India are: High consumption of broad spectrum antibiotics, easy availability of antibiotics, including combinations, inappropriate use by people with inadequate knowledge of their use, rampant antibiotic use in animals raised for food, environmental contamination from discharge of effluents from antibiotic manufacturing units to rivers and lakes. World Antibiotics Awareness Week 2018: How to Take Antibiotic Medicines To Prevent Side Effects Like Diarrhoea.

Survey results indicate more education is needed about appropriate antibiotic usage.

Head of microbiology at the University of the West Indies, Dr Alison Nicholson, highlighted the magnitude of the problem faced when bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. Though resistance is an issue with microbes such as bacteria, fungi, virus and parasites, bacterial resistance poses serious health issues owing to routine infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs created to kill them. Always give the full course of antibiotics, even if the animal appears to have recovered.

"Antimicrobial drugs are also used to treat diseases in animals and plants, as well as in farming to boost production".

Why is Antibiotic Resistance Dangerous?

Adding his voice to simple practices individuals can do to prevent AMR, the minister asked that Ghanaians "do not put oral or injectable antibiotic powders into open wounds and do not mix it with drinks such as palm wine or others".

The world urgently needs to change the way it prescribes and uses antibiotics. "A multipronged approach - including stewardship to protect the utility of antibiotics, incentives to spur development of new antibiotics, and investment in research and public health initiatives - will be necessary to turn the tide against antibiotic resistance".


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