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World Health Day: prevent antimicrobials from losing their effectiveness

World Health Day: prevent antimicrobials from losing their effectiveness

Are you waiting for your children to finish the antibiotic recommended by the pediatrician? Do you follow the doses and days of treatment prescribed by the doctor to the letter? On World Health Day, the WHO reminds us that the correct use of antimicrobials is essential to avoid developing resistance.

"I'm fine now, I'm cured, I no longer cough or have snot, why should I continue taking the medicine?" My children have asked me once when the pediatrician prescribed antibiotics, four or five days after starting the treatment. Children should know from a young age that if they do not finish the antibiotic or do not take it every eight or twelve hours, depending on the drug, when they need it again it will not cure them, because the microbes are very clever and become resistant to the medicine , mutating their genetic code, to avoid being eliminated. Therefore, if the next time you get sick, you want to get well, you should take the antibiotic for the eight days that the treatment lasts.

Currently, we have sufficient scientific knowledge on how to properly use antimicrobials, including antibiotics, which kill bacteria, antifungals, which kill fungi, antiparasitics, which kill parasites, and antivirals, which work against viruses. They must be taken in precise doses and for a specified time, and while antibiotics, for example, are ineffective in viral infections, antivirals are not effective in treating bacterial infections. recommendations? One of the misconceptions is to believe that all infections respond to antibiotics. It seems to many patients that this is indeed the case, but what happens is that, for example, when a patient with a viral respiratory infection recovers after taking amoxicillin, it is generally due to the natural history of the disease, no amoxicillin. Many mothers feel more comfortable giving their children antibiotics, instead of treating them with paracetamol and inhalations, when it comes to simple viral infections in healthy children to prevent possible secondary bacterial infections, despite the fact that there are quality clinical trials that demonstrate the null efficacy of this prophylaxis. In the developed world, Another ill-advised practice is that pharmacists easily dispense antibiotics without a prescription and most antibiotics, because of their safety and brevity of treatment, lend themselves to a abusive use because patients often take antibiotics on their own initiativeCombating these behaviors, which are due to poor regulation and insufficient health education, is a challenge that WHO intends to achieve worldwide with the campaign Let's fight antimicrobial resistance. If we don't act today, there will be no cure tomorrow. Containing antimicrobial resistance is the theme for World Health Day 2011. The World Health Organization is developing a comprehensive set of policies for ministries of health targeting almost all stakeholders.Marisol New.

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