Quelling antimicrobial resistance: a clinico-pharmacological exigency

antibiotics__

(Adam Nieścioruk, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Pat Ashinze, an Igbo-Yoruba Nigerian penultimate medical student at The University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


In the year 2011, The WHO theme centred on combating antimicrobial resistance. It was to alleviate the problem due to the global burden it has imposed on health subsequently leading to the ineffectiveness of drug therapy.
Infectious diseases caused by microbes were becoming impervious to empirical drugs and morbidity and mortality rates were peaking on a biblical scale.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microbes change in ways that render the medications used to cure the infections they cause ineffective.

Resistance is caused by misuse and overuse.

To quell antimicrobial resistance, a tiered(International, National, Community and Healthcare Centre Levels) multidisciplinary approach that cuts across all health fields must be put into place and enforced with near-zealotry enthusiasm.

Internationally, there should be increased collaboration between governments, nongovernmental organizations and international agencies to prevent infections and their spread and also invent novel networks that will undertake surveillance of antimicrobial use.

Nationally, the Government can form new or reinforce existing programmes to contain antimicrobial resistance. Governments can see to the establishment of committee(s) that would formulate stringent policies; provide guidance on standards, regulations, training and awareness on resistance.

At the Community Level, i recommend strongly that Community Health awareness campaigns be carried out to educate both rural and urban folks about using antimicrobials rationally and as rightly prescribed. Furthermore, there must be regulatory control on over-the-counter use of antibiotics, the need to put up with impeccable standards of high hygiene and lastly, the use of standard treatment regiment for the management of infections and vaccination.

At the Healthcare System/Centre Level which is the focus of this essay and inarguably the most important out of the tiers, it is exigent that the leader of the health team: The medical doctor is well acquainted with the pharmacological and laboratory knowledge of antimicrobial resistance so as to  enact measures to prevent and control infection that will considerably reduce the spread of pathogens including resistant ones within healthcare facilities and to the wider community.  The Nurse must avoid requesting antibiotics for treatment of viral or fungal infections. The Nurse must also use the right antibiotic by the right route for the shortest appropriate time and religiously refrain from disposing unused antibiotics in the clinic environment. The Pharmacist, can educate patients about antimicrobial use and the importance of complying with the prescribed regimen. This would help to reduce the unnecessary use/misuse of antibiotics.
Other health workers and allied forces are to get themselves familiar with the concept of Antimicrobial resistance and join hands in the use of good hygiene, public health awareness systems and other infection control practices at all times to decrease the spread of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms.

In conclusion, to halt antimicrobial resistance, the tiers must come together to create a standard drug usage policy, alleviate infectivity rates, preach safe hygiene, enforce and explain the good in patient compliance to physician prescription and summarily keep the international and national players abreast of recordings of epidemiological surveys.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PPMC4149102

Antibiotics: a Critical Review; Resistance and Antimicrobial therapy; pages 95 – 96( Kurylowicz et al, ’76)

Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR; Combating Antimicrobial Resistance( Rajesh Uchil et al)

https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/about/antibiotic-resistance-faqs.html

https://www.ausmed.com/cpd/articles/what-can-nurses-do-to-combat-antimicrobial-resistance

About the author

Pat Ashinze, an Igbo-Yoruba Nigerian hybrid, is a penultimate medical student at The University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. Pat is autodidactic. He is a seasoned creative writer revolving within the wheels of experimental writing, content/blog writing, poetry, prose, essaying, aphorisms and freelance writing. He has served and is currently serving as editorial consultant, contributory author/writer for various medical, social and literary platforms. His creations have grossed accolades and have graced several columns and pages home and abroad. He loves volunteering for and directing community outreaches. He is a 2019 UN Millennium Network Fellow, a Pan-Literati Fellow and a Commonwealth100Alumnus.

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