Antibiotics

Antibiotics Resistance: We All Have A Role To Play

An antibiotic is any substance that can destroy or inhibit the growth of bacteria and similar microorganisms without causing any harm to the infected organism. Antibiotics have saved millions of lives since the discovery of penicillin in 1928. Antibiotics resistance occurs when bacteria fail to respond to the substance which is normally used to stop their growth. Imagine having a slight infection that caused sore throat or diarrhoea and your body refuse to respond to drugs administered. Meaning that a simple infection may turn to be fatal.

CAUSES OF ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE CRISIS

  1. Overuse – many individuals take over-dose of antibiotics without taking prescription from qualified medical personnel because they are easily accessible, plentiful and cheap e.g Septrin, tetracycline
  2. Inappropriate prescription by medical personnel
  3. Extensive agricultural use such as growth supplements in livestock
  4. Availability of few new antibiotics produced by pharmaceutical industries.
  5. Biological causes such as mutation, selective pressure, gene transfer, phenotypic change

PREVENTION

Many experts believe that we will not be able to keep up and that soon there will be no antibiotics left to treat diseases. Alas! Infection boom is nigh. This is fast becoming the case with gonorrhoea, a sexually transmitted infection and tuberculosis. Clearly we should try to reduce the number of circumstances in which bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. Some of the ways in which we can do this include:

  • using antibiotics only when appropriate and necessary; not using them as preventive measures against a disease.
  • Government should enforce of law which regulates the sale of antibiotics without doctor’s prescription
  • Physicians should avoid over prescription of so-called wide-spectrum antibiotics and using instead an antibiotic specific to the infection (known as narrow spectrum). This can be confirmed after a culturing the organism.
  • Individual should always complete a course of medication, even if symptoms are gone.
  • making sure that patients do not keep unused antibiotics for self-medication or sharing in the future
  • health professionals should avoid prescription of the same drug for the same disease often.
  • patients should use the drugs exactly as advised by a health provider after a complete diagnosis.
  • Avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics in farming to prevent, rather than cure, infections.
  • Government should fund One Health researches and projects that will assist in policy making to prevent looming epidemic of antibiotic resistance.

Ultimate advice: Avoid self-medication. Antibiotics are not sweets

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Written by: Abdulhammed Opeyemi Babatunde

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