Home Front Page Antibiotic resistance on the rise: WHO (Video)

Antibiotic resistance on the rise: WHO (Video)

WHO stated that people do not know about the main risk posed by drug-resistant superbugs

According to World Health Organisation, South-East Asia Region, deaths due to drug-resistant bacteria are rising and every five minutes a child dies due to this.

The World Health Organization, WHO, on Monday stated that people across the world do not know about the main risk posed by drug-resistant superbugs to public health and people do not know how to control the situation.

Another significant reason contributing to increased use of antibiotics is antibiotics in agriculture. food animals are often given long-term, low-levels of antibiotics to promote growth. This antibiotic use represents a large fraction of the total antibiotic use in the industrialized world. A few governments restrict which antibiotics can be used for food animals, with the goal of preserving the most powerful antibiotics for treating human disease.

The United Nations health agency stated that following a survey of public awareness, about 64 percent of people believed wrongly that penicillin-based drugs and other antibiotics were able to treat colds and flu, despite the truth that such medicines have no impact on viruses.

The WHO added that it was also seen that a third of people surveyed believed that it was acceptable to stop taking antibiotics when they start feeling better. Whereas, antibiotics should be taken according to the prescribed course and should not be left midway.

Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s special representative for antimicrobial resistance, stated that the findings call for attention towards spreading awareness about antibiotic resistance.

It was added that global behaviour change by individuals and societies would be one of the biggest health challenges of the 21st century.

When bacteria mutate and adapt to become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause, leads to antibiotic resistance. Over-use and abuse of antibiotics aggravate the development of drug resistant bacteria, often called superbugs.

Hundreds of thousands of people are killed every year by superbug infections that include multi-drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis, typhoid and gonorrhea and reports state that the trend is growing.

WHO’s director-general Margaret Chan said in a statement that the rise of antibiotic resistance is a global health crisis. It is reaching dangerously high levels in all parts of the world.

The WHO had carried a massive survey on antibiotic resistance for which 10,000 people were surveyed. Many worrying misconceptions were found.

The survey results stated that about three quarters of people thought that antibiotic resistance means the body is resistant to the drugs. The fact remains that it is the bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics and their spread leads to infections that are hard to treat.

The results also revealed that about 66 per cent of people believed that individuals are not at risk of a drug-resistant infection if they personally take their antibiotics as prescribed.

Anyone, anywhere, of any age, can get a superbug infection and this calls for more efforts from health authorities to spread awareness about the use of antibiotics.

Content reported by Kate Kelland, Reuters