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Antimicrobial resistance biggest health threat, doctors warn

Antimicrobial resistance biggest health threat, doctors warn

Misuse of antibiotics risks public health, doctors should mention exact indication, justification while prescribing antimicrobials: DG Health Services

Srinagar: Antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health in the world today, compromising the treatment of infectious diseases and undermining advancements made in medicine, doctors said on Friday.

A senior doctor at GMC Srinagar told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the most powerful antibiotics, which once saved the lives of millions of people worldwide, are ineffective today.

He said that superbugs can cause severe infections for which there are no cures, and antibiotics are also reaching individuals through the food chain. Nearly 80 percent of these drugs are used by the meat industry, fed to cattle, chicken, and other livestock to help them grow well, used as growth promoters, and the drug enters the human system through meat, milk, water and soil, he added.

“Think twice and seek advice before using antibiotics as misuse of antibiotics puts us all at risk,” the doctor said, adding, “Unnecessary and extensive use of antibiotics has promoted the emergence and proliferation of resistant bacteria and other pathogens, leading to rising AMR, which, in turn, has resulted in inadequate treatment of common infections.”

The doctor warned that the overuse of antibiotics is a direct threat to patient’s health due to the risk of adverse effects as well as the increased emergence of AMR and multidrug-resistant microorganisms.

According to a report published in the Lancet in January 2022, bacterial AMR caused 4.95 million deaths globally by 2019 and, without any effective action plan, is predicted to cause 10 million deaths annually by 2050.

Another doctor from GMC Anantnag told KNO that the responsible use of antibiotics and proper disposal of unused and expired drugs, as well as waste from relevant industries, ensures that these precious pharmaceuticals stay out of the environment as much as possible and reduces the risk of the development of resistant bacteria.

The irrational and inappropriate treatment of patients is the main reason for the evolution of these drug-resistant microbes, and hospitals are flooded with these deadly microbes, he said, adding, “By giving inappropriate antibiotics, we end up developing drug-resistant microbes. Though the development of resistance is a natural phenomenon, its amplification and spread through certain faulty practices are concerning.”

Inappropriate use of antibiotics is responsible for alarming levels of antibiotic resistance in the Kashmir Valley, the doctor said, adding that more than two-thirds of antibiotics are unnecessarily prescribed for infections caused by viruses or conditions that are not linked to infection at all.

An antibiotic policy will help in the rationalization of antibiotic use in hospitals and even outside hospitals and will assist in standard treatment protocols, they said.

“There is a need for a different policy in different places, and a national policy won’t help here as we have our own epidemiological microbiology, which is our pathogen prevalence, differing for different regions, and the policy must be based on the antibiogram of the region,” the doctors said

Meanwhile, Director General of Health Services Dr Atul Goel has urged all doctors of medical colleges in India to mandatorily practice writing indications while practising anti-microbials.

“Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the top global public health threats facing humanity. It is estimated that bacterial AMR was directly responsible for 1.27 million global deaths in 2019 and 4.95 million deaths were associated with drug-resistant infections, AMR puts many of the gains of modern medicine at risk. It threatens the effective prevention and treatment of infections caused by resistant microbes, resulting in prolonged illness and a greater risk of death,” reads a notification issued by the Director General of Health Services.

Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are identified as primary drivers in the emergence of drug-resistant pathogens. The notification appeals to all doctors in medical colleges to mandatorily include exact indications and reason justifications in their prescriptions, seeking their support to promote the judicious use of antimicrobials and reduce the emergence of AMR—(KNO)

Srinagar News

Srinagar News is one of the oldest newspaper in kashmir it was founded by Late Mehraj-ud-Din Wani Sahab in 1975.

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