World Health Organization report cautions against antibiotics overuse worldwide

Glen Mclaughlin
November 14, 2018

Dr Owen Kaluwa, the WHO Country Representative to Ghana, said this year, the Organisation had introduced sub-themes to showcase the vast work underway to tackle antimicrobial resistance, which demonstrated "how antibiotics are linked to humans, animals and the environment".

In WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, antibiotic medicines have been categorized into three types, including the "Access" category for treatment of common infections; the "Watch" category that should be used with caution because of high potential to cause antimicrobial resistance and/or side-effects; and the "Reserve" category which should only be used as last-resort antibiotics.

Even if one bacteria survive the antibiotic attack, it can pass on its resistance to other bacteria.

Rev. Awitty further called for the strengthening of laboratories in the various health facilities to enable prompt confirmation of suspected infections to aid the selection of appropriate antibiotics.

The DHB wants to get the message across that antibiotic resistance caused by the misuse or overuse of antibiotics is one of the biggest threats to global health today.

Talk to your healthcare provider about measures to relieve symptoms without using antibiotics.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and World Health Organization (WHO) have expanded their partnership to counter antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through the addition of the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment).

Additionally, the National Pork Board continues its participation and collaboration with the CDC's newly developed Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Challenge (#AMRChallenge).

I think there is a misconception that scientists will somehow "solve" resistance, by inventing a new antibiotic.

"However, the GHA carried out its own study into this subject in 2014 and, since that time, it has formulated and implemented different initiatives to curb and rationalise its own antibiotic prescribing". It said there was a noticeable resistance among 500000 people with suspected bacterial infections across 22 low-income countries.

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How To Prevent Antibiotic Resistance?

Diseases like tuberculosis, pneumonia, sepsis, etc. can be controlled with antibiotics.

Antibiotics don't work when the pathogen is a virus.

Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections like the common cold, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections.

Follow your doctor's prescription to a T.

The publication was timed to coincide with World Antibiotic Awareness Week.

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".

Never self-medicate with antibiotics.

Prepare food hygienically and separate cooked from the uncooked.

"Africa lacks data on the scope and scale of antibiotic resistance".

"Adequate support and investment are needed not only for the discovery of new vaccines and therapies for treatment of infections but also for the development and improvement of diagnostic tools", he observed.

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