IMA hails PM taking up the cause of medical profession

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PM Modi joins health campaign and asks people to avoid taking antibiotics without the doctor’s prescription

In his monthly address to the people of the nation in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi urged people to not take antibiotics without the prescription of a doctor since resorting to such short cuts to get better soon has been giving rise to new problems. He also asked the citizens to take antibiotics for the entire course prescribed by the doctors and not leave it midway as it can potentially lead to antibiotic resistance.

He informed the people that the Government is resolute on stopping the menace of antibiotic resistance and that antibiotic medicine strips are now having a red line to warn the people. He suggested that in order to get well soon, consuming any antibiotic that is available easily, without consulting a doctor, is not a wise choice. While explaining the issue of antibiotic resistance, he stated that random and excessive use of antibiotics makes the causative organisms accustomed to the particular drug, and the drug thus loses its efficacy and utility. This practice of impetuous use of antibiotics thus creates newer problems that require years of research to find out solutions for.

Additionally, leaving an antibiotic course, prescribed by a doctor, midway, or continuing it for longer than prescribed, both will harm the patient and help the bacteria. The causative organisms are fast undergoing mutations and rendering the once-effective antibiotics, ineffective now, thus adding to the problem of antibiotic resistance.

While antibiotic resistance is a global public health problem, the issue nowhere is it as stark as in India. Resistance to fluoroquinolones among invasive Salmonella Typhi isolates in India was 8% in 2008 that rose to 28% in 2014. And antibiotic use itself is the most significant driving force behind this resistance. In the year 2010, India was the world’s largest consumer of antibiotics for human health, with consumption estimated at 12.9 x 109 units (10.7 units per person). It is high time that we start taking our health seriously and understand that the use of antibiotics without prescription is going to do more harm than good.