It is highly surprising that drug resistance status which does not find itself in the list of diseases which are fatal causes death of 7 lakhs people in a year around the globe. Of this figure, around 2.30 lacs die out of TB drug-resistance alone. This fact has been revealed by the UN official body, ‘Anti-microbial Resistance’. The fact that lakhs of people fall easy prey to this drug-resistance problem is astonishing as well as alarming indication.
This news bulletin discloses the following predictions:-
Around 7 L people die out of drug-resistance globally every year
Of the above figure, 2.30 lacs people die due to TB drug-resistance
By the year 2050, the count will touch 1 crore people who would die due to drug-resistance problem
By the year 2030, nearly 2.4 crores of people would be miserably driven to ‘below poverty line’ rate because of this problem.
Lack of immunity or drug-resistance caused in respect of common diseases like bronchial infection, HIV/AIDS and kidney infection has increased the rate of untreatable cases at the global level. Hence, it is imperative that all countries take note of this adverse trend and take needy and remedial action in framing policies for implementation at all levels in their respective countries, as confirmed by the UN body.
The Lungs Specialist, Dr.Jayaraman shares his opinions in terms of creating proper awareness of this drug-resistance issue and action to be taken by the concerned authorities as under:-
In general, antibiotic or antiviral medicines are prescribed right from ordinary fever to TB, HIV and related bacteria/virus prone diseases. These medicines are capable of curing these diseases by killing the virus responsible for the concerned disease. But, in reality, even when we take these medicines, the diseases are not cured completely; on the other hand, the virus present in the body gets multiplied. This is called ‘Drug Resistance’. Again, in practice, some people are in the habit of buying these antibiotic medicines over the counter directly from the shop and stop using them short of its prescribed duration in which case the drug-resistance is automatically increased in the body. In the case of the abrupt stoppage of antibiotics, it will increase the adverse effect of the virus in the body and the disease will not be cured either. Drug-resistance is also caused by different antibiotics taken in different dosage by changing the medical practitioner for one cause or the other.
The basic guidelines are that antibiotic medicines should always be taken as a course until the virus is completely eliminated. If it is an ordinary infection, the antibiotics should be taken from 5 to 15 days. If it is TB, the prescribed medicines should necessarily be taken for a period of 6 to 8 months. Both the doctors and the patients should be careful in taking the right antibiotics for the disease concerned after due tests and examinations. Above all, the antibiotic medicines are required to be prescribed only by the doctors and the patients are not supposed to buy the medicines themselves without complete knowledge.
It is essential to understand that antibiotics should never be resorted to unnecessarily. Unless it is taken for the right cause at the right stage, hardly will it work. It must be prescribed by the doctor only after due tests are conducted and results confirmed.
On the part of the patients, it is necessary that they adhere to the recommendations of the doctor alone and they must take the full course of the medicine. They should not rather compel the doctor to prescribe antibiotics for a quick remedy. In the process, the normally prescribed antibiotics will not work for them. That is why still higher potent medicines are required to be found out for curing the same disease. Unfortunately, the number of research centres and companies are not available in proportion to our actual requirements and hence the death rate of patients for want of right medicines keeps on increasing.
Dr.Jayaraman further categorically states that necessary laws should be enforced in India also wherein the public should not be able to buy any medicine over the counter without a valid prescription from the doctor. In developed countries, it is just impossible to buy even a headache tablet from any shop without a prescription. Equivalent laws must be framed and implemented in India too if we want to prevent spreading of viral diseases among the already over-populated country.
It is fundamental on the part of the general public to become aware of the positive and negative effects of antibiotic medicines so that they do not approach the pharmaceutical shops direct to buy antibiotic medicines randomly. It is equally important that both the doctors and the medical shops should not feel compelled to give antibiotic medicines unless warranted and with a due prescription.
(This article written in Tamil by Jeni Freeda has been translated in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)
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