ISLAMABAD-Around 700,000 people die of Antibiotic Resistant infections every year while the estimates said the death toll could be a staggering as one person would die in every three seconds by the year 2050, revealed healthcare experts on the occasion of the World Antibiotics Awareness Week.

Studies depict that Antibiotic Resistance could kill up to 10 million people each year, which is more than the number of people dying of cancer or other diseases.

One of the leading reasons behind the growing Antibiotics Resistance is the excessive intake of antibiotics. “Overuse and misuse of antibiotics has helped the bacteria grow stronger and resistant to it. Moreover, fewer new antibiotics are being developed,” said Dr. Aftab Akhtar, Head of Pulmonology, Shifa International Hospital.

Antibiotics kill or stop the growth of most of the susceptible bacteria in a large bacterial population; however, the resistant bacteria survives and continues to proliferate in the presence of the antibiotic, resulting in a strain of mainly resistant bacteria that can protect themselves against the effect of an antibiotic creating Antibiotic Resistance and these antibiotic resistant organisms are known as ‘Superbugs.’ Our antibiotics, once regarded as wonder drugs for treating serious bacterial ailments, are facing the challenge of Antibiotic Resistance in the current times. Health experts further discussed about how antibiotic resistance could be minimized.

“In order to minimize antibiotic resistance, the patient should always complete the full antibiotic course in any case. Moreover, the patient should never use left-over antibiotics or share their antibiotics with anyone to fight antibiotic resistance,” shared Dr. Jawwad Ahmad, Consultant ENT, Capital Hospital.

“Rapid diagnostics could also play a role in reducing unnecessary use, slowing AMR and so making existing drugs last longer,” he further added.

“World Health Organization (WHO) has included AMR as one of the top ten threats to global health in 2019 and there is a critical need to improve global awareness of AMR across the region so that patients do not demand, and clinicians do not prescribe antibiotics when they are not needed,” shared Prof. Samiya Naeemullah, former Head of Department and Professor of Paediatrics, Rawalpindi Medical University.