A national pharmacist at the Ministry of Health, Rev. Tijli Tyee says antibiotic resistance threatens global health, stressing that the more the resistance increases, it is likely for more people to get sick and death rate will increase.
The comment comes as Liberia observes World Antibiotic Awareness Week, which runs from November 13-19 under the Theme: Seek advice from a qualified health care professional before taking antibiotic.
Speaking Thursday, 16 November at the Ministry of Information’s regular press briefing, Rev. Tyee explains that antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development, saying, “antibiotic resistance can affect anyone of any age in any country.’
He notes that a growing number of infections such as Pneumonia, Tuberculosis, Gonorrhea, and Salmonellosis are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them have become less effective, adding that antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical cost and increased mortality.
“Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, new resistance mechanisms are emerging and spreading globally, threatening our ability to treat common infectious disease.”
Highlighting some ways of preventing and controlling the spread of
antibiotic resistance, the Liberian pharmacist says individuals should only use antibiotics when prescribed by a certified health professional, stressing “Never demand antibiotics if your health worker says you do not need them, never share or use leftover antibiotics.”
Rev. Tyee continues that Liberians should always wash their hands in order to prevent bacterial, avoid close contact with sick people, and prepare food hygienically.
The National Infections Prevention Control of the World Health Organization, Moses Bolongei, notes that over and under usage of antibiotic leads to its resistance, saying that we should always follow the complete dose of the health care worker, and reminds that though Ebola is over, but the process of washing hands should not be over.
“Antibiotic resistance is everyone’s business and it is the responsibility for everyone to prevent it so that it cannot spread, we have met with people around the country, including religious leaders so that we all can work together to combat the spread of the antibiotic resistance.”
Liberia’s health sector faces multiple challenges, including lack of essential drugs, medical equipment and inadequate doctors, among others despite government’s pronounced determination to building a resilient health system.
By Ethel A. Tweh-Editing by Jonathan Browne