According to Dr. Muhammad Salman, the acting head of the National Institute of Health (NIH), Pakistan faces a grave issue where over 70% of antibiotics are used unnecessarily for treating self-limiting diseases.
Over 70% Antibiotic Misuse
This misuse of antibiotics is widespread and contributes to a growing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), rendering these crucial medications less effective against disease-causing microorganisms.
Ineffectiveness of Antibiotics
Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Ejaz Ahmed Khan further emphasized the consequences of frequent and unnecessary antibiotic use. Such practices have rendered certain antibiotics ineffective, leaving patients with chronic infections incurring substantial costs for treatment.
The Role of Vaccination
Dr. Nasim Akhtar, the head of the infectious diseases department at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), offered a vital solution to combat infectious diseases—vaccination.
She highlighted vaccination as the most effective preventive measure against various infectious diseases. Encouraging parents to ensure their children receive vaccinations against over a dozen preventable diseases can significantly reduce the burden of infections.
Raising Awareness of AMR
Dr. Mumtaz Ali Khan, the Principal Scientific Officer (PCO) at NIH Islamabad, emphasized raising awareness about antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
This global issue has resulted in thousands of deaths worldwide, making it a critical concern for public health. Efforts are being made to educate the public about the responsible use of antibiotics and the risks associated with AMR.
The misuse of antibiotics in Pakistan has reached a critical juncture. This alarming trend contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance, making once-effective medications ineffective.
To address this issue, healthcare professionals are advocating for responsible antibiotic use, promoting vaccinations, and raising awareness about the dangers of AMR.
Individuals, healthcare providers, and policymakers must work together to combat this growing public health threat and preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations.