The survey conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has discovered a shocking reality. According to the survey common man is consuming too much of antibiotics and is unaware of antibiotic resistance and its abuse which is a big matter of concern for public health. In addition, it was found that people also didn’t know about how to keep a check on antibiotic resistance from growing to an extent where it poses a serious threat to health.
The WHO survey was conducted in 12 countries and found that misconceptions and understanding gaps of functioning of the antibiotics among common people persists in almost every country. Survey included more than 10,000 people over 12 countries including India, China, South Africa, Vietnam, Nigeria, Sudan. Serbia and the Russian Federation. It was found that nearly two third (64 percent) of the people were aware of the concept of antibiotic resistance but they didn’t know what necessary steps to take to curb the problem. What’s even more alarming was that nearly one-third (32 percent) of the people surveyed don’t believe in completing the course and said they should stop consuming any more antibiotics once they start feeling better.
What is Antibiotic Resistance?
It is a phenomenon when the bacteria mutate and become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause.
Key points revealed in the WHO survey:
- 76 percent of the respondents think antibiotic resistance is the body becoming resistant to antibiotics. In fact, it is the bacteria not the humans or animals that become resistant to antibiotics.
- 66 percent of respondents believe that individuals are not at risk of a drug-resistant infection if they take antibiotics as prescribed.
- 44 percent of the people think antibiotic resistance is only a problem for people who take antibiotics regularly. Anyone, of any age, in any country, can get an antibiotic-resistant infection.
- 57 percent of respondents feel there is not much they can so to stop antibiotic resistance.
- 64 percent believe medical experts will solve the problems before it becomes serious.
- 73 percent of the participants say farmers should fewer antibiotics to food-producing animals.
From an Indian perspective
- 75 percent respondents wrongly believe that cold and flu can be treated with antibiotics only. Only 58 percent people know that they should stop taking antibiotics once the prescribed course is completed.
- While 75 percent people agreed on the fact that antibiotics resistance is one of the biggest problem in the world and poses serious threat to health.
- 72 percent people are very optimistic and believe that experts will solve the problem before it takes a serious turn.
“The rise of antibiotic resistance is a global health crisis. Governments recognize it as one of the greatest challenges for public health today,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO. “It is reaching dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. Antibiotic resistance is compromising our ability to treat infectious diseases and undermining many advances in medicine,” added Dr. Chan.
The key findings in the survey will help government and concerned agencies to work towards creating awareness among public in understanding the problem and misconception related with antibiotics.