Time to Act against the Drug Resistant Micro-Organisms

It is known that drugs are meant for action against micro-organisms to treat various infections. However, it was found that certain bacterial strains with NDM-1 (New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1) gene are resistant to specific antibiotic called Carbapenem. An article in the Lancet journal stated that these drug resistant strains were recorded among certain people in many other countries including Australia, Canada, and the U.S apart from India. With this situation, a global movement was initiated by the World Health Organization to safeguard antibiotics for future generations.

The movement is aimed to target the growing antibiotic resistant microbes and was initiated from the World Health Day, 2011. “Antibiotic Resistance: no action today, no cure tomorrow” is therefore mentioned as the theme for this World Health Day.

Need for sustained action
Today we are in an antibiotic-dependent era. The over-use of antibiotics including the self-administration by the patient and the over-prescription by a doctor is the main reason for increased antibiotic resistance. With an increase in the antibiotic-resistant microbes, there may be a slow reversion to the pre-antibiotic era. This may rise the cases of deaths and diseases due to untreatable infectious and communicable diseases. The effectiveness of the treatment gets reduced due to the multi-drug resistance. Thereby, the drugs become expensive superseding the purchasing power of the people. It in turn becomes an obstacle for the poverty alleviation and development.

Regulation of antibiotic use
The only way to avoid the resistance is to educate people on the rational use of antibiotics. All fevers may not mean that you are infected. It is therefore not necessary to use an antibiotic for fever. For example, many of us use antibiotics for treating several common upper respiratory infections. However, such infections are mostly caused due to viruses. Antibiotics never act against viruses and only are meant for fighting against bacteria and certain fungi. Such indiscriminate use of antibiotics is therefore leading to cases of drug resistance.

The stakeholders and governments are advised by the World Health Organization(WHO) to initiate and implement certain practices and policies for prevention of rise of highly resistance microorganisms.