The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Aashritha Foundation, a Bengaluru-based not-for-profit organization, have highlighted the gravity of antibiotics resistance driven by indiscriminate use by public and physicians.
According to Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) 2015 report, on average an Indian consumed about 7.4 antibiotic pills annually in 2000, which increased to about 11.7 antibiotic pills in 2010. Global antibiotic consumption increased by 36% over the same period. Of the five countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) that accounted for 76% of this increase in antibiotic consumption globally, India had the highest antibiotic consumption.
A study published in Lancet showed that more than 58,000 new born babies died in India in 2013, because they were born with antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.
In 2011, Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization, said that “no action today means no cure tomorrow”. This had WHO also to start the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week campaign from November16 to 22, 2015.
Although antibiotics is a miraculous substance to control infections, it is squandered with indiscriminate prescription. The structure of modern medicine revolves around antibiotics as it is recommended for simple flu and its indispensability in surgical interventions including organ transplant and heart operations, noted a panel of experts at a public awareness event titled ‘Antibiotic Resistance and You’.
IISc’s Department of Microbiology and Cell biology teamed up with Aashritha Foundation to communicate to the public and provide them with glimpses on the ground realities of antibiotic resistance problem existing globally and in India. The event sponsored by Rotary Club of Platinum City, Bengaluru included screening an international documentary film on the issue of rising antibiotic resistance infections, followed by a panel discussion on the scenario in India.
The expert panel comprised Dr Santanu Datta, CSO, Bugworks, Dr Satish Amarnath, medical microbiologist and chairman, Manipal Infection Control Committee, Manipal Hospital, Dr B V Ravi Kumar managing director, Xcyton Diagnostics and Dr Nadeem Mohamaed Fairoze, Professor and Head, Veterinary College, Hebbal, Bengaluru. The discussion was moderated by Dr M K Vasundhra, Emeritus Professor, Community Medicine, BR Ambedkar Medical College, Bengaluru.
Antibiotics have been a boon to the medical world. However, with the rise of antibiotic resistance infections, this class of drugs are fast losing their efficacy in treating infections not only in humans but also animals, making antibiotic resistance a global health concern, stated the experts adding that from now on medical professionals need to use antibiotics more responsibly.
“A doctor would be helpless to save a patient if he is not armed with antibiotics. The dooms day scenario is not far if we do not use antibiotics judiciously,” says Dr Satish Amarnath.
According to Dr Ravi Kumar, people are curious about this antibiotic resistance and are scared as well. Therefore platforms like social media should be used to create awareness.