Don’t abuse antibiotics, warns medic

Don’t abuse antibiotics, warns medic

A senior medical doctor has expressed fears over the increased use of antibiotics, arguing that it could trigger resistance, which could complicate the treatment of certain diseases.

In commemoration of World Antibiotic Week, which is being observed from Thursday, November 18, to Wednesday, November 24, 2021, the Executive Director of Al Sabbah Children’s Hospital, Dr Justin Bruno Tongun, lamented the abuse of antibiotics, which he said had reached alarming levels.

”If the rampant use of antibiotics is not stopped, it will lead to long term side effects.

 “When antibiotics are abused, people develop antibiotic resistance, and then they become ineffective in the body,” he said.

Tongun said the common people need to be made aware of the rationale of using antibiotics, adding that many people use the antibiotics without a doctor’ prescription.

“There is a need for public awareness about antibiotics, and it is not just patients; sometimes clinicians overuse antibiotics,” he said.

“The public should only receive antibiotics if they have a diagnosis of having a bacterial infection, and that is when the doctor can give them the correct type of antibiotics,” the medic advised.

“[Do] not just to go to the pharmacy or shop and buy antibiotics because pharmacies are not regulated, they are simply business-oriented and they simply sell because of the weak regulations in our country,” he added.

He advised citizens to visit health workers rather than buy their medicines from the pharmacy.

 “In Juba, there is an abuse of antibiotics. Every person uses antibiotics, and with time, they are not effective anymore in most cases,” he revealed.

Dr Tongun particularly cited the misuse of ceftriaxone in Juba, the drug mostly given by some health workers to people as a treatment for typhoid because they believe that when they are injected then they will get better.

“The treatment for typhoid in adults is a tablet called Ciprofloxacin, but instead of using that, people turn to use ceftriaxone, which is a third-generation antibiotic,” he said.