WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

By Alegbe, Precious Tamaralayefa 

Antimicrobial resistance according to World Health Organization(WHO) is the ability of  micro-organisms(like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antimalarials, antivirals) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and spread.

 

Firstly, what do we say antimicrobials are?
They are substances that are capable, even in high dilution, of killing or inhibiting the growth of micro-organisms. They may be subdivided into Antibiotics which are derived from the growth of micro-organisms (which include; Streptomycin, Cephalexin, Erythromycin, Amoxycilin, Candicidin, Polymycin, Tetracycline, etc.) and Chemotherapeutic Substances which are synthetic agents not occurring naturally(which include; Clotrimazole, Metronidazole, Miconazole, etc.)

 

Secondly, how do we say AMR occurs and what are the causes?
AMR occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections.

The spread of AMR is a growing problem across the world and a serious threat to patients safety.

The overuse of antibiotics is a contributing factor to AMR.

The misuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobials, also accelerates AMR.

Also Note that

  • AMR kills- this is due to the non response of the body to treatment.
  • AMR hinders the control of infectious diseases.
  • AMR increases the cost of health care.
  • Poor infection control practices encourage the spread of AMR.

 

ROLES OF PHARMACISTS IN TACKLING AMR

  • Antibiotics should be prescribed only on the clinical diagnosis of bacterial infections.
  • Antibiotics and other antimicrobials should be stored in a dry, clean and well ventilated area at room temperature between 15°C-25°C to prevent degradation of antibiotics which is also a contributing factor of AMR.
  • Pharmacists should cultivate the habit of patient-counselling, for this will immensely increase patient-compliance. Thereby, avoiding/preventing the abuse, misuse and overuse of antibiotics.
  • Public awareness should be made across the community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies in ways of posters, bills and other promotional materials to enlighten the general public on the consequences of AMR.

ROLES OF PHARMACY STUDENTS
Pharmacy students also have roles to play in the tackling of AMR.
The major role we can play is by creating public awareness in every way possible, which may be by;
• Organizing campaigns and reaching out to youths, pregnant women, etc. to  enlighten them on the proper use of antibiotics and also the dangers on the abuse, misuse and overuse of antibiotics.

  • Organizing online campaigns also, which will help in the spread of AMR gospel on every social media platform.

ADVICE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC

  • Do not use antibiotics without any clinical diagnosis of bacterial infections.
  • Always seek professional advice before taking antibiotics and other antimicrobials. Stop self-medication.
  • Use antibiotics as prescribed, do not take them for no reason.
  • Always complete an antibiotics dosage. Incomplete doses or under dose may also cause AMR.

Alegbe, Precious Tamaralayefa is a student from Igbinedion University, Okada.

 

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1 thought on “WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

  1. Tatenda Gwenhamo

    Its very unfortunate that resistance cases are not well documented in some African countries.

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