This World Antibiotic Awareness Week, it is important to increase the awareness of antibiotic resistance to encourage good health.
The aim is to encourage best practices amid the general public, medical workers and policy makers. Antibiotic awareness helps avoid unwanted visits to casualty rooms and prevention of antibiotic resistance.
It is important to be aware of antibiotics so that we can tackle the ever increasing problem of antibiotic resistance. One of the key features of awareness is making people understand the demerits of resistance of antibacterial medications through effective education, training and communication.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has started an initiative, Antibiotics: Handle with Care, which reflects the message that antibacterial drugs are very important and should be preserved. They are only meant for treating bacterial infections and when prescribed by medical professional. WHO is trying to encourage all people, including medical practitioner, medicos and para-medics to help raise awareness about antibiotic resistance.
What is antibiotic resistance?
It occurs when a particular antibacterial drug has lost its potential to control or destroy bacterial growth. The bacteria become resistant and continue to grow and multiply even in the presence of antibiotic therapy. You develop antibiotic resistance if you use antibiotics haphazardly, irregularly, unnecessarily or overtly. Eventually, the antibiotic fails to bring up cure and the infection persists, sometimes making things bad.
Medical experts often prescribe antibiotics for a specific duration. One needs to complete the course of treatment to get rid of the bacterial infection. It is important to complete an antibiotic course even if you feel better within a day or two of treatment. If you fail to do so, you are more likely to develop an antibiotic resistance.
Many people with cold and flu often take up antibiotics, which is absolutely incorrect. Cold and flu are viral infections and antibiotics are of no use. This unnecessary use of antibacterial drugs (when you do not have bacterial infection) can lead to antibiotic resistance.
Your GP is the right person to explain you how, how much and how long you need antibiotics. Do not self-medicate and overdose with any antibiotics; they can prove harmful to your body