We need good bacteria to maintain our body’s healthy balance. Antibiotics, which are used to attack bacteria, do not distinguish between helpful and harmful bacteria. When we take antibiotics for an illness, pay a hefty price of losing a lot of friendly bacteria in the process. This reason among others is why it is important not to take antibiotics unless it is absolutely necessary. Usually, our body is able to kill bacteria on its own, but if it is necessary and you have been prescribed a dose, make sure to follow the instructions given by your doctor. Do not stop the medication before the set time.
Prevention and control
Antibiotic resistance is accelerated by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, as well as poor infection prevention and control. Steps can be taken at all levels of society to reduce the impact and limit the spread of resistance.A. The general public can help by:
- Preventing infections by regularly washing hands, practicing good food hygiene, avoiding close contact with sick people and keeping vaccinations up to date.
- Only using antibiotics when prescribed by a certified health professional.
- Always taking the full prescription.
- Never using left-over antibiotics.
- Never sharing antibiotics with others.
B. Health workers and pharmacists can help by:
- Preventing infections by ensuring clean hands, environment and sterile instruments
- Keeping patients’ vaccinations up to date.
- When a bacterial infection is suspected, perform bacterial cultures and testing to confirm.
- Only prescribing and dispensing antibiotics when they are truly needed.
- Prescribing and dispensing the right antibiotic at the right dose for the right duration.
C. The agricultural sector can help by:
- Ensure that antibiotics given to animals, including food producing and companion animals, are only used to treat infectious diseases and under veterinary supervision.
- Vaccinate animals to reduce the need for antibiotics and develop alternatives to the use of antibiotics in plants.
- Promote and apply good practices at all steps of production and processing of foods from animal and plant sources.