Doctors at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) have warned of the danger of incorrect use of antibiotics, especially excessively, which makes it more difficult to treat many microbial diseases. The warnings to not overuse antibiotics coincide with the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), which takes place from Nov. 18-24.
The problem of antimicrobial or antibiotic resistance has been recognized worldwide as one of the greatest threats to human health, animal health, food security, and development. It has been estimated that 10 million people per year will die by 2050 due to infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria unless action is taken.
Medical Director of the Communicable Diseases Center at HMC Dr. Muna Al Maslamani said in a press statement on Wednesday:
"Antibiotics are powerful medicines that are used to treat or prevent infections. They are an essential part of many patients treatment plans as they work by stopping the growth of bacteria that may be causing a problem in the body.
"However, when antibiotics are used incorrectly, they can become less effective. This is known as antibiotic or antimicrobial resistance and is becoming one of the biggest threats to global health according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Incorrect use of antibiotics, especially overuse, is making it harder to treat many infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and salmonellosis, as the antibiotics are becoming less effective."
"In recent years antibiotic resistance has risen to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, and Qatar is no different. Every day, our clinicians are witnessing the damaging effects of antibiotic resistance which threaten our ability to treat common infectious diseases and as we continue to battle COVID-19, it is important to take strong steps now, both here in Qatar and internationally."
For his part, Senior Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Stewardship Lead at HMC Dr. Hisham Ziglam said that most illnesses are caused by two kinds of germs, bacteria, or viruses.
"Antibiotics can cure bacterial infections only they cannot cure viral infections. Bacteria are the cause of issues such as sore throat, some types of pneumonia, and sinus infections, while viral infections include common colds, most coughs, and the flu. It is vitally important that the public understand that using antibiotics for a viral infection will not cure the infection, help you feel better, or prevent others from catching your illness," said Dr. Ziglam.
Throughout World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, HMC is seeking to educate both the public and healthcare professionals about antibiotic resistance. HMC is also advising the community on how to take antibiotics responsibly and what steps they can take to reduce antimicrobial resistance.
HMC is offering the following advice to ensure people take antibiotics responsibly:
Cover image credit: HMC
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