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Antibiotics apocalypse: the “super-bug killer” on the loose

KARACHI- a press briefing on the World Antibiotic Awareness Week “World Health Organization (WHO) was organized. The medical practitioners participated to celebrate the week. Dr. Zafar Mahmood, Associate Professor at Hamdard University& Head of department Kulsum Bai Valika (KVSS) Hospital Karachi. , Dr Faisal Faiyaz Zuberi, Interventional Pulmonologist, Associate Professor Pulmonology Head of Chest Unit-II at Dow University of Health Sciences Karachi, and Prof. Iqbal Ahmed Memon, President Elect Asia Pacific Paediatric Association (APPA) were also among the speakers.


Talking to the press, Dr. Zafar said that Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) had been included as one of the top ten threats to global health in 2019. Causing more than 700,000 deaths every year, Antibiotic Resistance was becoming a serious threat to the society with not many people being much aware of it.


“Overuse and misuse of antibiotics have helped the bacteria grow stronger and resistant to antibiotics. What had emerged as life-saving drugs are now turning into a threat to global health because of its excessive and unnecessary usage,” said Dr. Zafar Mahmood.


Antibiotic or Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) arises when the infection-causing micro-organisms such as bacteria survive exposure to a medicine that would normally kill them, thus becoming Superbugs.


“Using antibiotics for coughs and colds where they will have no effect as treatment may give rise to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) owing to its misuse. While antibiotics are widely used in the treatment and prevention of infections caused by bacteria; they are not effective against common cold or flu caused by viruses and the general public needs to be educated about it,” he added.


Dr Faisal Faiyaz Zuberi further said, “With the numbers so alarming at present, fighting against Antibiotic Resistance is the need of the hour. In order to minimize Antibiotic Resistance, one should only use antibiotics prescribed by a doctor, complete the full antibiotic course and never use left-over antibiotics.”


Prof. Iqbal Ahmed Memon opined, “Before we enter an era in which common infections can be dangerous, we need to take immediate proactive steps to curb this pandemic of antibiotic resistance. Awareness sessions and programs should be conducted for educating the masses about the importance of a proper dosage of antibiotics while rapid diagnostics should be brought into play.”


It is estimated that the death toll due to Antibiotic Resistance could be a staggering one person every three seconds by 2050, and therefore, keeping a check is a must.


World Antibiotic Awareness Week is celebrated every year from November 18 – November 24, 2019.

November 23, 2019

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