World Antibiotic Awareness Week – All you need to know

November 14, 2018

“Antibiotics are to be handled with care” – World Health Organization

Antibiotics are also called life-saving drugs. They are commonly used in the management of various illnesses caused due to bacteria. Thus they are prescribed by almost all medical professionals. In dentistry too, many antibiotics are prescribed for prophylactic and therapeutic uses. But overuse and misuse of antibiotics can reduce the drug effectivity. This is because bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs which are designed to kill them. When bacteria become resistant, antibiotics are not able to fight them, and the bacteria multiply. This term is known as Antibiotic Resistance.

Thus,WHO promotes World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) from 12-18th November.

People are unaware that antibiotics cannot treat viral infections like cold and flu. Also, Antibiotic resistance can affect at any age and in any country. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are difficult and expensive to kill. If not treated, they multiply rapidly and can worsen the disease and even cause death.

“Change can’t wait. Our time with antibiotics is running out.”– World Health Organization.

According to projections of the United Nations, antibiotic resistance, if not tackled, could result in 10 million deaths worldwide by 2050. In India, about 50% of antibiotic prescriptions are inappropriate and 64% of antibiotics sold are unapproved.

World health organization (WHO) has described antibiotic resistance as one of the greatest threats to humans and animal health, as well as food and agriculture. WAAW aims to increase global awareness of antibiotic resistance and encourages practice among the general public, health professionals, to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. It is the initiative to promote the proper use of antibiotics.

Each November, WAAW promotes awareness by conducting social campaigns and conferences worldwide.

The WAAW advice the world to reduce antibiotic resistance by following these key measures for antibiotic awareness.

  • Maintaining proper hygiene
  • Never share your Antibiotics
  • No self-medication
  • Always seek advice from a qualified medical professional

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Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali is the Co-Founder and Chief Dental Surgeon at DentalDost. A recipient of the Pierre Fauchard International Merit Award, she is a holistic dentist who believes that everyone should have access to oral healthcare, irrespective of class and geography. She strongly believes that tele-dentistry is the way to achieve that. Dr. Vidhi has also spoken at various dental colleges, addressing the dental fraternity about dental services and innovations. She is a keen researcher and has published various papers on recent advances in dentistry.
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