Antibiotic resistance is the biggest threat to global health

Antibiotic resistance is the biggest threat to global health

WHAT are antibiotics? What is Antibiotic resistance? Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria or other microbes to resist the effects of an antibiotic. Bacteria, not humans, become antibiotic-resistant. These bacteria may infect humans and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria. So how can we prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance. the following tips are crucial:

  •  Antibiotics DO NOT treat viral infections like colds and flu so do not demand amoxicillin capsules or suspension for your kids for minor flu!
  • Only use antibiotics when prescribed by a certified health professional.
  •  Always follow the advice/instructions the pharmacist gives when using antibiotics like taking your antibiotics for the exact number of days prescribed. Do not stop taking them when you feel better. Store your medicine as advised.
  • Never demand antibiotics if your health worker says you don’t need them.
  • Never share or use leftover antibiotics.
  • Prevent infections by regularly washing hands, preparing food hygienically, open windows in public transport, practice safer sex, and keep kids vaccinations up to date.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing.Quick Facts!

1. According to World Health Organization (WHO) Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. New resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening the ability to treat common infectious diseases. A growing list of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning, gonorrhoea, and foodborne diseases – are becoming harder, and sometimes impossible, to treat as antibiotics become less effective.

2. Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality

3. The world urgently needs to change the way it prescribes and uses antibiotics

4. In a country like Lesotho where we do not have Medicines Regulatory Authority, the threat is even more eminent since no stringent regulations are in place to control safe use of medicines.

Retšelisitsoe Nkhahle

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