WHO cautions against misuse of antibiotics

ABUJA – World Health Organisation, WHO, on Wednesday, warned Nigerians against the misuse of antibiotics, saying it makes bacteria infections harder to treat.

Essential drugs like antimalarials and antibiotics have become more expensive in recent times as a result of the implementation of the 20 per cent duty tax on imported medicaments by the Federal government

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WHO Officer in-Charge (Nigeria), Dr. Clement Peter, stated this at a press conference organised in commemoration of the 2018 World Antibiotics Awareness Week and Diabetes Day in Abuja.

According to him, patients should never demand nor share antibiotics, and only use them when prescribed by certified healthcare professionals.

He said: “Nothing less than global health security is at stake when antibiotics are misused. From being miracle life-savers, antibiotics are becoming ineffective against infections which can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.”

Peter said the reasons for the rise in antibiotics resistance include overprescribing, misuse by patience who don’t follow the advice of healthcare professionals, overuse in farming, poor infection control, and a lack of new antibiotics.

He said: “Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria become resistant to the active ingredients in these medicines. These resistant bacteria may infect humans, making infections like pneumonia, tuberculosis and gonorrhea  harder to treat,”

On the scourge of diabetes in the country, the WHO boss said overweight and obesity were the strongest risk factors for the disease in Nigeria.

He therefore urged families to buy and serve balanced diets, encourage participation in physical activities and promote healthy living environments as a way of controlling diabetes rather than being controlled by the disease.

“I urge everyone to eat healthily, be physically active and avoid excessive weight gain. Families can help drive down diabetes through healthy lifestyles and supporting family members with diabetes. We all have a role to play,” he concluded.

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