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Antibiotics’ Misuse Puts Global Health at Risk, Doctors Caution


SRINAGAR: Doctors issue a stark warning on Friday, declaring antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as the most significant threat to global health. The misuse of antibiotics poses a serious risk, necessitating an urgent antibiotic policy, medical experts say.A senior doctor at GMC Srinagar emphasised that once-powerful antibiotics, crucial in saving millions of lives globally, have now become ineffective. Superbugs, capable of causing severe infections with no known cures, are on the rise. Antibiotics are entering the human system through the food chain, with nearly 80 percent used by the meat industry, contributing to AMR.

“Think twice and seek advice before using antibiotics, as misuse puts us all at risk,” cautioned the doctor. The unnecessary and extensive use of antibiotics has led to the emergence of resistant bacteria, resulting in inadequate treatment for common infections.

The doctor highlighted that overuse of antibiotics poses a direct threat to patients’ health due to adverse effects and the increased emergence of AMR. A Lancet report in January 2022 revealed that bacterial AMR caused 4.95 million deaths globally by 2019, with projections estimating 10 million annual deaths by 2050 without effective action.Another doctor from GMC Anantnag stressed the importance of responsible antibiotic use and proper disposal to prevent the development of resistant bacteria. He identified irrational and inappropriate treatment as the primary cause of drug-resistant microbes in hospitals.

The doctor lamented the lack of regulations, leading to the widespread prescription of antibiotics for viral infections and conditions unrelated to infection. Urging the implementation of an antibiotic policy, the doctors emphasized its role in rationalizing antibiotic use, setting treatment protocols, and addressing the region’s unique epidemiological microbiology.

“There is a need for a different policy in different places, and a national policy won’t help here as we have our own epidemiological microbiology,” the doctors concluded. (KNO)



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