Health professionals are raising concerns about the inappropriate use and accessibility of antibiotics. In a message delivered to the National Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) symposium in Port Moresby, Health Minister Dr Lino Tom emphasized the importance of purchasing antibiotics only with a valid prescription from a registered medical doctor. This measure aims to tackle the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance.
According to Dr Osborne Liko, Health Secretary, the misuse of antibiotics not only affects humans but also animals and the environment. To combat this issue, all sectors involved need to establish and adhere to guidelines for the proper use of antimicrobials. By strictly following prescriptions, individuals can help prevent the development and spread of drug-resistant infections.
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change, rendering medications ineffective. Infections become harder to treat, increasing the risks of severe illness and death. Dr Gabriella Ak, a clinical microbiologist at Port Moresby General Hospital, warns that AMR is a silent pandemic that poses a significant threat to global public health. Outcomes of AMR include elevated death rates, prolonged infections that are difficult to contain, and increased healthcare expenses.
1. Can I purchase antibiotics without a prescription?
No, it is crucial to obtain antibiotics only with a valid prescription from a registered medical doctor. This helps ensure the responsible use of antibiotics and reduces the risks of antimicrobial resistance.
2. Why is antimicrobial resistance a concern?
Antimicrobial resistance makes infections harder to treat and increases the likelihood of severe illness and death. It also escalates healthcare costs and poses a global public health threat.
3. What can individuals do to prevent antimicrobial resistance?
Individuals can contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance by strictly adhering to prescriptions and using antibiotics only when specifically prescribed by a healthcare professional. It is essential to avoid self-medication or purchasing antibiotics without a valid prescription.
4. Who is responsible for issuing guidelines on antibiotic use?
All sectors, including healthcare professionals, pharmacy retail outlets, and regulatory bodies, have a shared responsibility to establish and adhere to guidelines on the proper use of antibiotics. These guidelines aim to promote responsible usage and mitigate the risks of antimicrobial resistance.