The World Health Organisation has sounded the alarm over the global misuse of antibiotics. In Kenya, they are easily available over the counter. But, a lack of awareness about how to take them correctly could be opening the door to drug-resistant super-bugs.
In Kenya, one can buy most medicines without a doctor’s prescription including antibiotics. The problem is, many self-prescribe without knowing enough about them. This can lead to drug resistance, where bacteria adapt to become invulnerable to the antibiotics used to treat the infections caused.
Since antibiotic resistance isn’t just a problem in Kenya with the Super-bug infections already killing thousands of people around the world, a recent survey by the World Health Organization revealed some shocking statistics. Almost two thirds of some 10,000 people surveyed across 12 countries said they knew antibiotic resistance could affect them and their families, but didn’t know what to do to prevent it. 64% believed antibiotics could treat colds and flu. And close to one third thought they should stop taking antibiotics when they feel better.
There are growing fears that the misuse of antibiotics is fueling the rise of super-bugs and that if more isn’t done to educate people on how and when to take them, this could give rise to an irreversible global medical crisis. WHO has launched a campaign to mark the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week which ends on November 22nd. The aim is to raise awareness and prevent the further spread of antibiotic resistance.