How many times have you visited your local pharmacy to get a box of antibiotics to fight off a cold, flu or something along those lines? How many times did you prescribe an antibiotic for yourself?

Antibiotic abuse has become so common in Egypt that most people are unaware of the harm they are actually inflicting on their health. Antibiotics are actually losing their power because of misuse. There’s a global threat to public health as Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is on the rise, preventing the treatment of a wide range of infections. The bigger problem arises due to the fact that without effective antibiotics, the success of major surgery and cancer chemotherapy would be compromised.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microorganisms, such as a bacteria or virus, changes when it’s exposed to antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics. When a microorganism develops antimicrobial resistance, the medicine becomes ineffective and infections remain in the body. When the body is no longer responsive to medicine, the cost of health care increases and duration of illness becomes prolonged for the patients.

According to the World Health Organization, around, 480 000 people worldwide develop multi-drug resistance every year. Some of the problems associated with drug resistance is that it can cause even more complications when fighting certain diseases, like HIV and malaria, as well as increasing the risk for surgical procedures resulting in infections.

The misuse and overuse of antibiotics plays a huge role in the spread of antimicrobial resistance. In Egypt, antibiotics are overused and misused. The abuse occurs as people tend to take antibiotics without medical supervision. The misuse is when antibiotics are taken by people with viral infections like colds and flu. Before you get a box of antibiotics from your local pharmacy, consult a doctor. Don’t play a role in the spread of antimicrobial resistance.