Antibiotics Threatening Our Future Health

Henrietta Brewer
November 13, 2018

This year, World Antibiotic Week runs from 12 November to 18 November.

Inappropriate use of antibiotics can lead to resistant bacteria that cause disease in both animals and plants, and potentially in humans via contact with infected animals or contaminated food. Improving the way healthcare professionals prescribe antibiotics, and the way patients use antibiotics, will help keep Hoosiers healthy, prevent fight antibiotic resistance, and ensure that these life saving medications will be available for future generations.

"The GHA notes the findings of the World Health Organization report in which Gibraltar rates as a high antibiotic user compared to most European Union jurisdictions", a GHA spokesman said.

Her words: "These resistant bacteria may infect humans and animals, making infections like pneumonia, tuberculosis and gonorrhoea harder to treat".

"Everyone has a part to play in reducing antibiotic resistance".

Southern DHB is getting behind World Antibiotic Awareness Week this week and encouraging people to think about how they may use antibiotics better.

Antibiotics don't work for all infections.

It's not people that become antibiotic resistant, bacteria do, and these resistant "superbugs" establish themselves after the "weaker" bacteria are cleared out by antibiotics.

"Antibiotic resistance is threatening our ability to safely and effectively provide medical care to many patients, including organ and bone marrow transplants, joint replacements and other complex surgeries, cancer chemotherapy, and care of preterm infants", IDSA President Cynthia Sears, MD, FIDSA, said.

A prime example of pig farmers' long-term dedication to antibiotic stewardship, public health and animal care is the industry's Pork Quality Assurance® Plus certification programme, now in its third decade. But some are resistant to the drug, which survive and multiply, giving rise to a resistant batch of bacteria that can't be harmed by antibiotics. Trust their advice and don't expect antibiotics every time.

Staff and students at Imperial are being encouraged to hand over their unused antibiotics as part of an annual amnesty.

'The timeframe for developing a new antibiotic is 10-15 years and it's not very profitable for companies as antibiotics tend to only be used for short courses. Dr Owen Kaluwa, the WHO Country Representative to Ghana, said this year, the Organisation had introduced sub-themes to showcase the enormous work underway to tackle antimicrobial resistance, which demonstrated "how antibiotics are linked to humans, animals and the environment". Though antibiotic resistance is global, it is more severe in India.

Another example of continuous improving regarding antibiotics is the Checkoff research that U.S. pig farmers have funded, which totals $6.5 million since 2000.

Investments are needed to build a smarter world for safe, effective medicines.

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.

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