Antibiotics work wonders in eliminating infections and curing the person who is sick. But just like any medicine, antibiotics have their drawbacks when consumed more than necessary. In fact, they do more harm than good when taken when not necessary. Are our children silently falling prey to this common mistake?
Recent study on antibiotics usage:
Gunther Fink, head of the Household Economics and Health Systems Research Unit at Swiss TPH found out that among the Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC), children receive, on an average, 25 antibiotic prescriptions before they turn 5 years old, which is way more than the desired and safe limit.
The study conducted in eight countries: Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nepal, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda. The report suggests how Antimicrobial Resistance is fast becoming the most dreaded battle for doctors across the globe and how it impacts the patients, especially kids in developing their immunity.
The research doesn’t include India but it has already made news across the country among the doctor community. With an average rate of 25 in 5 years, it leads to over 5 per year in LMIC, whereas high-income countries cap the limit at 2 antibiotic prescriptions per year.
But why should you worry?
In an exclusive for us, Prof G Sivakumar had earlier explained the dangers of antibiotic abuse and how it does more harm than good. Here’s what he explains about antibiotic resistance:
Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a microorganism to withstand the effects of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance can develop naturally via natural selection through random mutation. Once such a gene is generated, bacteria can then transfer the genetic information in a horizontal fashion (between individuals) by plasmid exchange.
Repeated and improper uses of antibiotics are primary causes of the increase in drug-resistant bacteria.
- It kills good bacteria
- The inadequate dose can make the bacteria develop a resistance
- Misuse of antibiotics help in increasing numbers of “super bacteria” which are resistant to most of the antibiotics.
Pic courtesy: WHO
As patients, it becomes important we don’t use go by half-baked information or misled data that leads to popping in an antibiotic at our own convenience. And definitely, not for our kids. Are we listening?