Antibiotic awareness week celebrated

Antimicrobial resistance has been recognized as a serious public health issue

Pig industry warns against further 'unsubstantiated' antibiotic reductions

-Do not use antibiotics in asymptomatic bacteriuria.

As part of the continuous effort to enhance public awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance, the WHO is organizing the World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) 2017 from 13 to 19 November 2017. "Not only that, by using antibiotic treatment unnecessarily, other bacteria in the environment as well as the "healthy" bacteria in the body gets the opportunity to develop resistance due to exposure, which can potentially cause antibiotic resistant infections later on", says Dr Paul Soko executive head of clinical services and quality at Life Healthcare Group Antibiotic-resistant infections are complex and hard to treat.

During Antibiotic Awareness Week, we recognize the often underappreciated threat that resistance to antibiotics poses to our Nation's health.

Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem around the world, threatening global health and food security. Consumers are also driving the demand for meat raised without routine use of antibiotics, with some major food chains adopting "antibiotic-free" policies for their meat supplies.

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During a press conference at a national-level Veterinary Day event in 2016, Malaysian Veterinary Services Department director-general Datuk Dr. Kamarudin Md Isa said the use of antibiotics on livestock was still needed, as similar to humans, farm animals also suffer from ailments such as fever, flu and cough. "Where possible, sick animals should be tested to determine the most effective and prudent antibiotic to treat their specific infection", World Health Organization said in a statement.

For example, antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea has now become nothing short of a major health crisis. This system can be utilised by researchers to track and study changes in antibiotic resistance among several bacteria that are normally transmitted through food. In 2013, the country moved to put antibiotics under veterinary control and growth promotion using highly important antibiotics was stopped.

Think twice and seek advice from a health care professional before taking antibiotics. Different antibiotics are used for different infections, in varying doses, via different routes of administration, and for varying durations, and non-medical personnel may not be in a position to diagnose medical conditions accurately and hence treat them properly. Also, it is best to obtain a urine culture when treating a bladder infection, because these infections are caused by a wide variety of bacteria.

As we know, antibiotics are only effective against bacteria, as opposed to viruses. This plan provides a roadmap to identify instances of antibiotic resistance, stop the spread of resistance, and improve the prescribing and use of antibiotics.

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