Doctors warn abuse of antibiotics could cause resistant strains of disease

Three medical professionals have alerted physicians and farmers in Antigua & Barbuda of the need to regulate the use of anti-microbial drugs as part of a global effort to prevent the development of diseases that are resistant to antibiotics.

Speaking on the occasion of World Antibiotics Awareness Week, which began on Monday, Dr Jonathon McComie said: “Resistance will evolve regardless of what you do when you start doing antibiotics. But when you abuse the antibiotics, it causes a bigger problem. You end up with super bugs.

“It’s important that we make an assessment and determine whether or not it’s really necessary to give antibiotics.”

Principal Pharmacist in the Ministry of Health Faye Edwards said resistance “has become one of the biggest threats to global health and it endangers other major priorities such as our development”.

Dr McComie added that “many times” when he declines to prescribe antibiotics to patients they “walk away very upset”, but “that may play a part in preventing resistance.”

Veterinarian Dr Nneka Hull-James and local farmer George Purcell joined the physician and pharmacist during the discussion on OBSERVER AM yesterday. Dr Hull-James advised farmers to cut back on the use of certain brands of animal feed which are laced with antibiotics.

According to the veterinarian, while the practise can help fatten animals by keeping them healthy, it also breeds antibiotic-resistant germs in animals that can cause deadly diseases in humans.(The Daily Observer)

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