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WHO concerned over antibiotic use in Sudan

November 18 - 2015 KHARTOUM
File photo
File photo

The World Health Organisation says that it is concerned about the lack of effectiveness of some antibiotics owing to misuse in human populations, reporting that attitudes in Sudan may contribute to this effect. After a survey in Sudan and 11 other countries, the WHO reported “widespread public misunderstanding about antibiotic resistance”.

According to the WHO, bacteria are small creatures that cannot be seen by the eye but live in the human body. Some bacteria are harmful and can cause diseases, and they are treated with drugs called antibiotics.

Sometimes these drugs become ineffective because the bacteria themselves change over time to be able to defend themselves against the drug. This means that a drug that was used several years ago to treat a particular kind of infection may not be effective anymore because the bacteria itself has changed.

The WHO says that “over-use and misuse of antibiotics increase the development of resistant bacteria”.

The health organisation encourages people not to use antibiotics to treat colds and flu because antibiotics have no impact on viruses, which cause these illnesses.

Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General said, “Antibiotic resistance is compromising our ability to treat infectious diseases and undermining many advances in medicine”.

The WHO's Dr Keiji Fukuda, a special representative on this issue, says that the global health organisation wants to work with governments, health authorities and other partners to encourage people not to take antibiotic drugs unnecessarily.

According to the WHO's findings in Sudan, derived from 518 face-to-face interviews, more than three quarters (7 per cent) of respondents report having taken antibiotics within the past 6 months; 91 per cent say they were prescribed or provided by a doctor or nurse.

“62 per cent of respondents incorrectly think they should stop taking antibiotics when they feel better—more than any other country included in the survey—and 80 per cent think antibiotics can be used to treat colds and flu. Both of these statements are incorrect. These are practices which encourage the development of antibiotic resistance,” reads a press release by the WHO.

(Source: Radio Tamazuj)

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