The Ministry of Health should take advantage of the upcoming Global Antibiotics Week to educate the public about the dangers of abusing the drugs in the wake of reports that this is posing a major challenge in treating diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea.
The two ailments are among the leading killers of children under the age of five.
There is a danger that continued failure to complete doses as directed could expose children to far much greater danger.
Adults are also wont to discontinue antibiotic treatment once the symptoms are suppressed, unaware that this could have more serious consequences because the misuse of antibiotics can also affect one’s ability to fight malaria, tuberculosis, and opportunistic infections caused by HIV.
Therefore, there is a greater need for public education on the proper use of the drugs for better public health, especially during the wet season when disease prevalence is likely to increase and encourage attendant infections.
The government also needs to allocate money for research and surveillance. The bills for these crucial functions are currently paid by donors and their activities do not always correspond with national needs.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION