Health News of 2014-05-24

Act decisively to stop antibiotic abuse – Dr. Enimil

A Paediatrician at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) has called for a decisive action to stem the increasing antibiotic abuse, something that has become a serious public health risk.

Dr. Anthony Enimil said government, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders must act together to tackle the danger.

He made reference to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) Report which said anti-microbial resistance was threatening effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi, and warned that the country was heading for a time when patients would die from simple infections because no antibiotics could treat their conditions.

Dr. Enimil, Head of the referral facility’s Paediatric Tuberculosis and Adolescent HIV Clinic, said there was an urgent need for co-ordinated efforts by policymakers, pharmaceutical companies, importers, pharmacists, doctors and users, to save the situation.

He was sharing his clinical experience on multi-drug resistance and antibiotic abuse with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi.

He said Ghana’s case was attributable to a complex mix of factors - indiscriminate, partial and improper use, purchase of the drug without prescription, importation of sub-standard types without proven efficacy, as well as lack of communication between doctors and pharmacists.

Health professionals, who as first line treatment, prescribe high generation antibiotics (which should be used as a last resort), have also been contributing to the problem.

Dr. Enimil said the wrong use of antibiotics could kill the normal bacteria in the body and thus expose the user to more infections and side effects, including bloody stools, candidiasis and diarrhoea.

He advocated for the strict enforcement of laws on drug importation and the tracking of antibiotic use.

Source: GNA
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