World Health Organization warns 'urgent action' is needed to tackle global misuse of antibiotics


U.S. Antibiotics Awareness Week, which runs from November 12 to 18, is an opportunity to learn about good antibiotic prescribing practices and use.

Health providers and stakeholders said they were willing to use this week to educate the public about what antibiotics were, antibiotic resistance, appropriate use of antibiotics and the spread of resistance.

Almost two thirds of Americans (65%) say antibiotic resistance is a public health problem and a strong majority (81%) say they are concerned that antibiotic resistance will make more infections hard or impossible to treat and even deadly, according to a national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America in collaboration with the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA).

Continuing pressure from consumers along with increasing frequency of resistance is pushing current antibiotic use techniques to the limits.

The WHO agreed with experts around the globe that since the discovery of antibiotics they had served as the cornerstone of modern medicine. These should be used cautiously due to the high chance of causing antimicrobial resistance and/or their side-effects.

Why is Antibiotic Resistance Dangerous?

Approximately 70 percent of all medically important antibiotics sold in the United States are intended for use in agriculture.

The main message of the awareness week this year is "handle antibiotics with care", focusing on action plans to prevent infections in livestock, aquaculture and crop production while promoting good farming and food safety. It said there was a noticeable resistance among 500000 people with suspected bacterial infections across 22 low-income countries.

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"Without effective antibiotics and other antimicrobials, we will lose our ability to treat common infections like pneumonia". "I urge everyone to think twice and seek advice from a qualified health professional before taking antibiotics", she said.

Even people who've never set foot on a farm can help address this problem by making informed decisions about the food they purchase.

The repercussions of antibiotic resistance can be devastating.

Additionally, the National Pork Board continues its participation and collaboration with the CDC's newly developed Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Challenge (#AMRChallenge). The idea is to reduce antibiotic use not only in humans but also in other creatures.

"Human, animal and environment health are all equally responsible for the correct use of antimicrobials and to avert the threat of antimicrobial resistance", said Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

Dr Kaluwa also called for increased investment by the government, funding agencies and the private sector to implement actions that would ensure that there was safe and secure medicine across generations.

The report, collating data on human consumption of antibiotic medicines from 65 countries and areas, finds wide discrepancies in consumption rates between countries that ranged from about four defined daily doses (DDD) per 1000 inhabitants per day to more than 64 DDD, indicating that some countries are probably overusing antibiotics while others may not have sufficient access to these life-saving medicines. Some 83% of those surveyed believe pharmaceutical companies should develop more antibiotics.