The High Court order to ban the sale of antibiotics without prescription is a much needed step in order to combat antibiotic resistance. Already the misuse of antibiotics, prescribed by unscrupolus doctors and sold readily by pharmacists has rendered a large portion of the population resistant to the effect of antibiotics.
Studies conducted in the country showed that 66 percent children and 44 percent adults were exposed to antibiotics. The actual number might be even higher as many people choose to self-prescribe and purchase antibiotics from the pharmacies. Many are unaware that antibiotics neither kill viruses nor cure virus-induced infections. Antibiotics are used for virtually all diseases regardless of whether they are needed or not. As a result, treatment for simple infections might prove impossible and people will start to succumb to even the common cold.
Widespread drug resistance is
just around the corner unless
prompt steps are taken to stop
this practice once and for all
Due to such dug resistance developing among the people medical science will be taken back by a hundred years and surgeries and transplants will result in increased mortality. And, in time we will be taken back to the pre-antibiotic era, with the creation of drug resistant superbugs, as a result of which thousands will die. Widespread drug resistance is just around the corner unless prompt steps are taken to stop this practice once and for all.
Simply limiting the sale of antibiotics is not going to be enough in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. First and foremost, we must raise awareness on this issue. People of all ages must be informed of the risks associated with excessive use of antibiotics. Schools must implement this topic in their health related curriculum and make it mandatory for all students. People living in rural areas must also be made aware of the harmful effects of antibiotic misuse.
The use of antibiotics in cattle and fish is another big concern. Farms and fisheries indiscriminately use antibiotics to cure illness in livestock and fish. There is still more research to be done on the harmful effects of eating the meat of such livestock as well as fishes. We may be unknowingly consuming our food laced with harmful antibiotics. The government should raise awareness on antibiotic misuse with the help of public service announcements, as well as awareness drives across the cities, towns and villages in the country. Doctors and pharmacists found to be responsible for unnecessary distribution of antibiotics must be penalized harshly. The so-called “antibiotic apocalypse” must be stopped at all costs.