Antibiotic resistance is currently one of the most serious threats to global health, food security, and development.
Antibiotic resistance can strike anyone, at any age, and in any country.
Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but antibiotic misuse in humans and animals hastens the process.
A growing number of infections, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea, and salmonellosis, are becoming more difficult to treat as antibiotics become less effective.
Antibiotic resistance causes longer hospital stays, higher medical costs, and higher mortality rates.
Antibiotics are antibiotics that are used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria adapt to the use of these medications.
Antibiotic resistance develops in bacteria rather than humans or animals. These bacteria can infect humans and animals, and their infections are more difficult to treat than infections caused by non-resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic resistance raises medical costs, lengthens hospital stays, and increases mortality.
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The world urgently needs to change the way antibiotics are prescribed and used. Even if new medicines are developed, antibiotic resistance will remain a major threat unless behavior changes. Changes in behavior must also include actions to reduce the spread of infections such as vaccination, hand washing, safer sex, and good food hygiene.
The problem’s scope
Antibiotic resistance is reaching dangerously high levels throughout the world. New resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading around the world, posing a threat to our ability to treat common infectious diseases. As antibiotics become less effective, a growing number of infections, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning, gonorrhoea, and foodborne diseases, are becoming more difficult, if not impossible, to treat.
Antibiotic resistance is exacerbated when antibiotics can be purchased without a prescription for human or animal use. Similarly, in countries where there are no standard treatment guidelines, antibiotics are frequently over-prescribed by doctors and veterinarians and over-used by the general public.
Without immediate action, we risk entering a post-antibiotic era in which common infections and minor injuries can kill.
Control and prevention
Antibiotic resistance is accelerated by antibiotic misuse and overuse, as well as inadequate infection prevention and control. At all levels of society, steps can be taken to reduce the impact and spread of resistance.
Individuals can help to prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance by doing the following:
Antibiotics should only be used when prescribed by a certified health professional.
Never insist on antibiotics if your doctor says you don’t need them.
When using antibiotics, always follow your doctor’s advice.
Never share or reuse antibiotics.
Prevent infections by washing hands frequently, preparing food hygienically, avoiding close contact with sick people, practicing safer sex, and staying up to date on vaccinations.
Prepare food in a hygienic manner, following the WHO Five Keys to Safer Food (keep clean, separate raw and cooked, cook thoroughly, keep food at safe temperatures, use safe water and raw materials), and choose foods that have not been produced using antibiotics for growth promotion or disease prevention in healthy animals.
Policymakers can take the following steps to prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance:
Ensure the implementation of a strong national action plan to combat antibiotic resistance.
Increase antibiotic-resistant infection surveillance.
Improve infection prevention and control policies, programs, and implementation.
Regulate and promote the safe use and disposal of high-quality medications.
Make information about the impact of antibiotic resistance available.
Antibiotic resistance can be prevented and controlled by health professionals doing the following:
Keep your hands, instruments, and environment clean to avoid infection.
Antibiotics should only be prescribed and dispensed when absolutely necessary, according to current guidelines.
Antibiotic-resistant infections should be reported to surveillance teams.
Discuss with your patients the proper use of antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, and the dangers of misuse.
Discuss infection prevention with your patients (for example, vaccination, hand washing, safer sex, and covering nose and mouth when sneezing).
The health industry can help to prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance by doing the following:
Invest in new antibiotics, vaccines, diagnostics, and other tools research and development.
The agriculture sector can help to prevent and control the spread of antibiotic resistance by doing the following:
Antibiotics should only be administered to animals under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Antibiotics should not be used to promote growth or to prevent disease in healthy animals.
Vaccinate animals to reduce the need for antibiotics, and use antibiotic alternatives whenever possible.
Encourage and implement good practices at all stages of the production and processing of animal and plant-based foods.
Improve farm biosecurity and infection prevention by improving hygiene and animal welfare.
While some new antibiotics are being developed, none are expected to be effective against the most dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Antibiotic resistance is a global problem that requires efforts from all nations and sectors, given the ease and frequency with which people now travel.
When first-line antibiotics are no longer effective in treating infections, more expensive medications must be used. Longer illness and treatment, often in hospitals, raises health-care costs as well as the economic burden on families and societies.
Antibiotic resistance jeopardizes modern medicine’s achievements. Without effective antibiotics for infection prevention and treatment, organ transplants, chemotherapy, and surgeries such as caesarean sections become much more dangerous.
The WHO’s response
WHO prioritizes the fight against antibiotic resistance. In May 2015, the World Health Assembly approved a global action plan on antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance. The global action plan aims to provide safe and effective medicines for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.
The “Global Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan” has five strategic goals:
To raise awareness and comprehension of antimicrobial resistance.
To improve surveillance and research.
To reduce the likelihood of infection.
To improve the use of antimicrobial medications.
To ensure long-term investment in antimicrobial resistance management.
A political declaration endorsed by Heads of State at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2016 signaled the world’s commitment to addressing the root causes of antimicrobial resistance across multiple sectors, particularly human health, animal health, and agriculture. WHO is assisting Member States in developing national antimicrobial resistance action plans based on the global action plan.
WHO has led a number of initiatives to combat antimicrobial resistance:
Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week
WAAW is an annual global campaign that aims to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance and encourage best practices among the general public, health workers, and policymakers to prevent the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections. Antimicrobials are important tools in the fight against diseases in humans, animals, and plants. Antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiprotozoa are among them. WAAW is held every year from November 18 to November 24. Previously, the slogan was “Antibiotics: Handle with Care,” but it was changed to “Antimicrobials: Handle with Care” in 2020 to reflect the growing scope of drug-resistant infections.
The Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GARSS) (GLASS)
The WHO-supported system promotes a standardized approach to the global collection, analysis, and sharing of antimicrobial resistance data in order to inform decision-making and drive local, national, and regional action.
Partnership for Global Antibiotic Research and Development (GARDP)
GARDP, a joint WHO and Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) initiative, promotes research and development through public-private partnerships. By 2023, the partnership hopes to have developed and delivered up to four new treatments by improving existing antibiotics and hastening the introduction of new antibiotic drugs.
Interagency Antimicrobial Resistance Coordination Group (IACG)
The United Nations Secretary-General established IACG to improve global coordination and ensure effective global action against this threat to health security. The IACG is co-chaired by the UN Deputy Secretary-General and the Director General of WHO, and it is made up of high-level representatives from relevant UN agencies, international organizations, and individual experts from various sectors.
minimum of 750 words
explain how would you be able to contribute to avoid antibiotic resistance in your community
how would you be able to diligently and responsibly prescribe antibiotic therapy taking into consideration general CDC protocols and other recommended measures.
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