Repeated and inappropriate use of antibiotics undermines health, warns WHO

“Antimicrobial resistance threatens to undermine health security and our progress towards universal health coverage, just as it risks reversing the medical advances of the twentieth century,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa in a statement issued on the occasion of the World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2019.

People should take antibiotics only when they have been prescribed by the doctor

This pandemic kills 700,000 people worldwide each year, reads the statement.
“If nothing is done, antimicrobial resistance could cause up to 10 million deaths a year by 2050,” warns Matshidiso.

Identified by the WHO as one of the most serious threats to public health, antibiotic resistance is correlated with the excessive use of antibiotics which, over time, generates an increase in bacterial resistance threatening the effectiveness of treatments.
A pharmacist says that some Burundian doctors do not abide by the antibiotic prescription rule.

“They prescribe, for example, antibiotics for people who suffer from flu.”
For him, the antibiotics are only effective against bacteria and therefore cannot cure the flu. “Influenza is a virus, but antibiotics by their very nature are only effective against bacteria,” he says.

This pharmacist also mentions the danger of self-medication with antibiotics. He says that people contribute to the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria if they take antibiotics repeatedly and inappropriately.
According to him, this constitutes a danger for all because antibiotics cause infections that are difficult to treat.

“The majority of people who work in Burundi pharmacies do not have required competence. They serve drugs without doctor’s orders, which is strictly forbidden, “he says.
He calls on people to take antibiotics only when they have been prescribed by the doctor who consulted him.
“One must also take a dose as prescribed by the doctor,” he adds.

World Antibiotic Awareness Week aims to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.