An increase in the resistance to drugs against infectious diseases has prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to make anti-microbial resistance the theme for World Health Day observed on April 7.
According to WHO, if microbes develop resistance to most drugs available in the market, the world will move to a 'dreadful pre-antibiotic era'.
“If that happens, death and disease due to untreatable infectious diseases will become the biggest obstacle to poverty alleviation, development and global efforts to make the world a better and more healthy place,” said Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO, regional director for South-East Asia.
According to city doctors, general practitioners prescribe stronger drugs for minor ailments without proper planning which leads to resistance. WHO has recommended doctors to establish monitoring mechanisms and remedial actions so that there is a rational use of antibiotics against infectious diseases.
Moving to strong medicines for a disease according to WHO, can be vulnerable as some are toxic and some are 100 times expensive than the first line drugs.
“Six per cent of children with tuberculosis visiting my OPD department have developed resistance to standard tuberculosis drugs. Most children have got the virus from an adult in the family,” said Dr Ira Shah, consultant paediatrician at BJ Wadia Hospital, Parel.
She added that patients should ensure that they complete the course of medication prescribed by a qualified doctor even if the symptoms abate. They should also ensure that measures are taken to ensure that the virus does not spread to others in the family.