Eye on Health: What you to need to know about antimicrobial resistance

On Dubai Today we talk to Dr. Kiren Sahota from HealthBay Clinic about the dangers of antibacterial resistance. 

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi change as they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs, such as antibiotics, antivirals and antifungals. Basically, the microorganisms in your body develop to become resistance to the drugs prescribed to fight them. These new, resistant microorganisms are often called “superbugs.”

Here are some key facts you need to know about Antimicrobial Resistance according to the World Health Organization:

  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) prevents effective treatment against infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi.
  • This is commonly seen in the widespread antibiotic resistance affecting growing numbers of the population today.
  • Without antibiotics that work, the effectiveness of major surgeries and treatments such as organ transplantation, caesarian sections and cancer chemotherapy would be seriously compromised.
  • Aside from just antibiotic resistance, almost half a million people worldwide are developing multi-drug resistance, this is complicating the global fight against HIV, TB and malaria.
  • Patients with resistant infections tend to suffer longer duration of illness, must endure additional tests and are prescribed more expensive drugs. Overall, the cost of healthcare for these patients is higher than of those with non-resistant infections.
  • Superbugs are not just found in people, but also in animals, food, water, soil and air. They can spread between people, animals and the environment – from the people you come in contact with, to the food you eat, to the air you breathe.
  • AMR does occur naturally. Over time peoples’ genes develop to become immune to certain drugs. However, due to the overuse and misuse of antimicrobial drugs, this process is being rapidly accelerated.
  • AMR is a grave threat to global public health. It calls for immediate action across all government sectors and society.

View the WHO factsheet here.

on air