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Appropriate use of antibiotics crucial in dealing with illnesses

November 20, 2021

Islamabad : The National Institute of Health (NIH), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), organised an awareness walk here Friday to draw attention to the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing.

Organized in connection with World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), which is celebrated from November 18-24 every year, the walk also created awareness of the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals. A large number of health professionals, students, and media personnel participated in the event, which was only one in a series of planned activities including webinars, a conference, as well as photo and poster competitions for children.

Speaking on the occasion, the executive director of NIH Major General Aamer Ikram, said antimicrobial resistance of a serious problem and one with the potential to develop into a global health crisis. “The good news is that each one of us can act to slow down the rate of AMR. One of the most effective ways is to make sure we use our antibiotics appropriately. This helps ensure medicines remain effective not only in dealing with serious illnesses but also common infections,” he stated.

Antimicrobials—including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and anti-parasitics—are medicines used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals, and plants. All around the world, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites are changing, and no longer respond to medicines used to treat the infections they cause. This antimicrobial resistance makes infections harder to treat, which increases the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. Antimicrobial resistance emerges naturally, usually through genetic changes. However, the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in humans, livestock, and agriculture have accelerated the process, as has a lack of clean water and sanitation, and inadequate infection prevention and control.

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