Antibiotics are medicines used globally to prevent and treat bacterial infections. However, antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines. Antibiotic resistance is rising to precariously high levels in all parts of the world. In the countries without standard treatment guidelines, antibiotics are often over-prescribed by health workers and veterinarians and over-used by the public. Moreover, where antibiotics can be bought for human or animal use without a prescription, the emergence and spread of resistance is made worse.
New resistance mechanisms are rising and spreading globally, threatening common infectious diseases treatment. Since the antibiotics become less effective, treatment are becoming harder and sometimes impossible with a growing list of infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning and sexually transmitted diseases. Without imperative action, we may be heading for a post-antibiotic era, where common infections or minor injuries can once again kill.
Role of Health Care Industry and Health Care Professionals
To prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance, health professionals and Industry can:
Only prescribe and dispense antibiotics when they are needed, according to current guidelines.
Prevent infections by ensuring asepsis of instruments and cleanliness of environment.
Guiding patients about preventing infections such as vaccination, ways to prevent spread of infection, hand washing and safe sex.
Guiding patients about use of antibiotics correctly, antibiotic resistance and the dangers of misuse.
Report antibiotic-resistant infections to surveillance teams.
Invest in research and development of new antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostics and other tools.
Since, antibiotic resistance is accelerated by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, as well as poor infection prevention and control, urgent steps are required to be taken at all levels of society to reduce the impact and limit the spread of resistance.