ISLAMABAD - Health experts Saturday terming the anti-microbial resistance (AMR) containment as major health issue, called for curbing irrational use of antibiotics .

They were addressing an awareness seminar on AMR here organized by Shifa International Hospital, on the occasion of ‘World Antibiotic Awareness Week’ being observed in Pakistan from November 13 to19.

They said Pakistan was also witnessing the rising problem of the AMR mainly due to inappropriate use with associated higher morbidity, mortality and costs.

At the 68th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2015, the delegates endorsed a Global Action Plan to tackle Antimicrobial resistance, they added.

They said the Ministry of National Health Services along with National Institute of Health had developed a National Action Plan for the AMR through collaborative efforts of all the stakeholders adopting one health approach.

Consultant Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases, Shifa International Hospital Prof Ejaz A Khan said one of the key objectives of the event was to improve awareness and understanding of the AMR through effective communication, education and training.

He said World Antibiotic Awareness Week aimed to increase awareness of the global AMR and to promote best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of AMR.

He said the growing problem of the AMR had emerged as major health crises in many countries worldwide including Pakistan.

The widespread use of anti-microbial in human population, animal sector and agriculture had created the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistant pathogens worldwide, he added.

Other health experts said it was high time to encourage all health partners, students, public and the media to join the activities during the week and help to raise awareness on antibiotic resistance.

The theme for this year is “Seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics”.

Activities during the week included distribution of awareness material for human and animal health sectors, seminars and awareness walks, among others.