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Science Technology

Antibiotics should be taken when prescribed by a healthcare worker : WHO

Antibiotics should be taken when prescribed by a healthcare worker : WHO

Kolkata, Nov 21 (UNI) Antibiotics are important and powerful medicines and should

only be taken when prescribed by a healthcare worker, according to a World Health

Organization (WHO) report.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria,

fungi, viruses, and parasites) change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs

(such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics).

Microorganisms that develop AMR are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”. As

a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body,

increasing the risk of spread to others. AMR occurs naturally over time, usually

through genetic changes. However, the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is

accelerating this process.

Antimicrobial resistance is a complex problem that affects all of society and is

driven by many interconnected factors. Single, isolated interventions have limited

impact. Coordinated action is required to minimize the emergence and spread of


All countries need national action plans on AMR, and greater innovation and

investment are required in research and development of new antimicrobial

medicines, vaccines and diagnostic tools.

According to WHO, AMR is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the

world and is threatening our ability to combat common infectious diseases and

support modern medical procedures.

Each November, World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) aims to increase

global awareness of antibiotic resistance (AMR) and to encourage best practices

among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further

emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

In 2015, the Sixty-Eighth World Health Assembly, endorsed the Global Action

Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, calling for a dedicated global campaign to raise

public awareness and understanding of antibiotic resistance. But for now, global

awareness of all these issues remains relatively low.

Although raising individuals’ awareness of antibiotics and resistance is important,

the campaign recognizes that real and actionable change happens when

communities everywhere become engaged.

Bacteria exist as a normal part of everyday life; in our air and water, on our skin

and inside our bodies. While some bacteria can be helpful, others can be harmful

and lead to infections.

Although there are two main types of infections, viral and bacterial, antibiotics

should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not work against viruses,

such as colds and flu.


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