ISLAMABAD: Senior Physician Thursday stressed that the country needs an improved surveillance of antibiotic resistance (AR), regulation of the appropriate use of quality medicines and education about the consequences of overuse.
General Physician Ziauddin Hospital Karachi Dr Ejaz Vohra suggested creating sufficient awareness among the public for resisting misuses of antibiotics.
He viewed that misuse of antibiotic has become an issue of grave concern in the present context. So, all the government and non-government entities concerned should come forward and work together to address the problem on a priority basis.
He said that in Pakistan around 88pc of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions were for self-limiting upper respiratory tract infections.
He said that people should only use antibiotics when prescribed by a certified health professional and always take the full prescription, even if they feel better because not completing the prescribed dosage will help bacteria become antibiotic resistant.
Popping too many antibiotics increases the risk of bacteria becoming resistant to the drugs which is called antibiotic resistance, he said.
He mentioned people around the world including Pakistan currently die due to over use of antibiotic each year.
“Antibiotics use in Pakistan is higher as many doctors prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics without proper diagnosis”, he said, adding this was why a growing number of infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhoea are becoming difficult to treat as the antibiotics become less effective.
“Most viral infections don’t even require antibiotics” he stressed.
He emphasized that hand hygiene and other infection prevention measures are important for every patient.
Doctors should be educated and well aware about the use of antibiotics and they should remind their patients to take antibiotics prescription exactly as prescribed, he added.
With the World Health Organization (WHO) ringing alarm bells, countries across the globe have woken up to this catastrophe.
However , for this purpose WHO recently launched a mass awareness campaign for public that would help in decrease the rate of people using unnecessary antibiotic.
“In many settings, doctors are prescribing antibiotics without carrying out proper need assessment,” he said, adding that there was massive misuse of antibiotics in the livestock and agriculture sector, too.
He advised , the use of antibiotic in poultry and milk should also be discouraged as it is damaging health of our future generation.
He explained , the trend of self-medication not only affects the usual process of diagnosis, but it also delays the therapeutic treatment and produces a number of side effects as well like gastrointestinal disorders, fatal anaphylactic shock and other severe complications.
Unused medicines should always be returned to any local pharmacy for safe destruction, he said.
Common colds and flue are for example caused by viruses, not bacteria, meaning that antibiotic therapy would be ineffective to treat these infections, said, adding, not only that, by using antibiotic treatment unnecessarily, other bacteria in the environment as well as the ‘healthy’ bacteria in the body gets the opportunity to develop resistance due to exposure, which can potentially cause antibiotic resistant infections later on.”
Pakistan hands over Jinnah Hospital to Afghan Govt.
KABUL: Pakistani authorities have handed-over 200-bed $24m M. A. Jinnah Hospital to the Afghan officials here today.
The facility was inaugurated jointly by Pakistani Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan and Afghan Minister of Public Health Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz. Chief Guest of the occasion Afghan Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish stated that Jinnah Hospital would hopefully be a substantial contribution to the health sector of Afghanistan.
Conveying PM Imran Khan’s message that Pakistan would continue to take all possible measures for the welfare of Afghan people, he told that the PM also wished to see a stable, secure, peaceful, prosperous & sovereign Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Dr. Ferozuddin Feroz, while thanking Govt. of Pakistan for the gift, acknowledged Islamabad’s assistance in the health sector.
It is pertinent to mention here that under-construction 100-bed Naeb Aminullah Khan Hospital in Logar costing $19 million and other completed projects including Nishtar Kidney Center, Jalalabad manifest the extent of Pakistani support for brotherly Afghans.
Measures against heat-related Illnesses
ISLAMABAD: Medical practitioners Saturday said that the public to take necessary precautions to safeguard against heat-related illnesses as the summer temperatures continue to rise.
According to Experts, prolonged or intense exposure to hot temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses among citizens especially kids such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat stroke, Dengue, Diarrhea, throat infections, and Kidney stones.
General Physician, Dr. Ammar talking to private news channel advised the public to take special preventive measures and ensure cleanliness in and around their houses to avoid dengue virus during the summer season.
Dr stressed on creating awareness among the public on how to avoid a possible outbreak of the infection that may hit the population. The number of dengue cases could rise even further and have also asked civic bodies to take adequate preventive measures to avoid mosquito conditions near offices and homes, he added. People should take precautionary measures like change water in their air coolers regularly. The overhead water tanks should also be cleaned form from time to time, he recommended.
Another Physician DR Jaffar said, summer brings a majority of digestion related illnesses. Considering the rise in temperature every year, it is very important to manage our food habits to avoid stomach illnesses. He said the major reasons for gastro-diseases included use of substandard fruits and other edibles being sold on streets. Doctors have attributed the increasing number of cases to the rising temperatures and use of unhygienic food. “Food tends to get spoiled faster because of the heat in summer. People need to exercise extreme caution in what they eat and drink. At home, food should be preserved properly.
In case of signs of stomach infections, prompt treatment must be taken to avoid the aggravation of the infection, he added. They suggest staying away from contaminated water or unhygienic food to make sure your liver is safe and healthy. Contaminated water can also trigger typhoid, a water-borne disease, seen very commonly in summers. Eating contaminated food is sure to cause food poisoning, says specialist.
Dr advises avoiding eating food from outside during summers. Carrying your own water whenever stepping out of the house. Eating freshly prepared food could also help stave off the risk of infection. If the food has been cooked prior either boil it or fry it before consuming it. Dr. Ammar also highlighted the kidney stone ailment can also rise in the season of summer, so people should take plenty of plain water.
A relevant piece published earlier:
NIH issues alert on epidemic-prone infectious diseases
ISLAMABAD: National Institute of Health (NIH) has issued Seasonal Awareness and Alert Letter (SAAL) for epidemic-prone infectious diseases in Pakistan.
According to an official of NIH, the main purpose of this alert was to inform all concerned health authorities and professionals at all levels and to facilitate them for timely and efficient response to the outbreaks or epidemics.
He said this alert letter was developed for the spring season from March to June 2019. In this letter, NIH exhibited patterns of high priority communicable diseases including Chikungunya, Cholera, CCHF, Dengue, Leishmaniasis, Measles, Polio and Pertussis.
These diseases are predicted to be on high alert during the season while alert also contains a detailed introduction of diseases, case definitions, infectious agents, modes of transmission, case management, and prevention.
Through this letter, NIH also informed about national and international public health events like Typhoid Fever (Extensively Drug Resistance strain) and Naegleria fowleri as national while Ebola Virus Disease and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV) considered as International events during the spring season.
He said the NIH also advised the federal, provincial and district health departments as well as other stakeholders to take keep a continuous watch on the anticipated seasonal public health threats and taking of all preventive or curative measures in this context.
There is additional information regarding ‘Mosquito Alert Pakistan app’ also included in this letter. NIH has recently launched its first-ever android based application which will help to collect information about mosquito species present in different areas.
The institute also issued an advisory regarding pollen allergy and suggested various preventive steps during the pollen season including limiting outdoor activities during high pollen counts, keeping windows and doors closed, limiting close contact with pets and using filter masks while going outside.