Published: Tue, November 13, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Antimicrobial Resistance a Global Health Emergency

Antimicrobial Resistance a Global Health Emergency

Since many lack the money and trained staff to establish and run a national surveillance system for antibiotic consumption, the World Health Organization has been helping these countries build monitoring systems over the past few years.The lowest reported antibiotic consumption (4.4 DDD/1,000 inhabitants per day) was in Burundi, and the highest use (64.4 DDD/1,000 inhabitants per day) was in Mongolia.

Reliable data on antibiotic consumption is essential to help countries to raise awareness of appropriate antimicrobial use, to inform policy and regulatory changes to optimize use, to identify areas for improvement and monitor the impact of interventions, and to improve the procurement and supply of medicines. The large difference in antibiotic use worldwide indicates that some countries are probably overusing antibiotics while other countries may not have sufficient access to these life-saving medicines.

At a press launch of this year's World Antibiotics Awareness Week (WAAW) in Accra yesterday, the PSGH also cautioned against the purchase of antibiotics from unqualified health workers.

Dr Claire Turner, course director, said: "There is an urgent need to combat anti-microbial resistance, which is causing thousands of deaths every year and making it increasingly hard to treat infectious diseases".

Doctors are seeing more and more patients with infections that can't be treated - even with drugs of last resort - as bacteria learn to overcome antibiotics.

WHO acknowledged the picture of how antibiotics are used around the world remains far from complete.

Low consumption levels in some countries not only indicates that individuals have limited access to antibiotics but may also indicate weak systems for the supply of antibiotics.

Collecting the data is vital for tackling antimicrobial resistance, the extremely worrying trend of bacterial infections becoming immune to antibiotics, the report said.

The report finds antibiotic consumption varies from 4.4 defined daily doses per 1,000 inhabitants per day to 64.4. This occurs when bacteria in the body become resistant to the effects of antibiotics, making infections much more hard to treat and increasing the chance of resistant bacteria spreading to other people. But their overuse and misuse has created a new challenge in anti-microbial resistance, where bacteria and other microbes become resistant to the effects of anti-microbials.

Antibiotic use in animal agriculture comes under quite a bit of scrutiny with critics arguing that ranchers should be decreasing the use of antibiotics in beef production.

'With antibiotic resistance on the rise globally, it's vital that we preserve the remaining antibiotics we do have.

SM Wajeeh, Country Manager for Pfizer Pakistan said; "We at Pfizer are fully cognizant of this important issue of Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and have been working with relevant stakeholders to make our contribution towards managing it".

Don't keep leftover antibiotics to use next time you are sick.

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