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Have you ever wondered why doctors make such a hue and cry about antibiotic resistance? Imagine you have a relative admitted in a hospital, who is ill and has an infection from a bug, which is not responding to antibiotics, the only alternative you have is to pray to God. Patients are often disappointed when a doctor does not prescribe an antibiotic, and will stop visiting that doctor.
Antibiotic resistance has reached global proportions and keeping this in mind, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared November 18-24 as World Antibiotic Awareness Week.
These days, patients demand antibiotics from doctors. And, in its bid to spread awareness about the antibiotic resistance in the patients, the Microbiology Department of Sassoon General Hospital (SGH), Pune, has decided to hold a presentation in different OPD’s in the hospital.
Dr Ajay Chandanwale, Dean of SGH and BJ Medical College, said, “Everyday, hundreds of patients visit the hospital. As the majority of patients come from the deprived section of society, the awareness drive would help in stopping misuse, and overuse of antibiotics.”
Dr Anju Kagal, Professor, Microbiology Department, said, “We are running out of antibiotics to treat patients because many have developed resistance to it, and this is happening because of misuse of antibiotics. It is, therefore, necessary to create awareness among all those who are consuming antibiotics without proper knowledge.”
She added, “Viral infections do not need an antibiotic, but many times, patients insist on antibiotics even for common cough and cold. Only when blood tests or culture confirm that it is a bacterial infection, one should take antibiotics. However, people do not know this, additionally, antibiotics sold over the counter is leading to its overuse and abuse. Further, because they cannot afford the complete dose, many times, patients do not complete the full course.”
To spread awareness about antibiotic resistance, the Microbiology Department Of the SGH, along with the infection control team consisting of Dr Swati Mudshinkar, Dr Ashwini Dedwal, Infection control nurses’, Brother Augustine Karap, Samarpit Khoparde, Ganpat Phatangare, Shaul Kale, Vandana Vibhandik, and Asha Shelar has decided to hold a presentation in different OPD’s.
Many unqualified doctors prescribe antibiotics with no proper knowledge. The department has also planned to come up with a training module for doctors, explaining the technicalities of antibiotics.
Each November, the WHO, with its World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW), aims to increase global awareness about antibiotic resistance and encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policymakers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.