Abuse of antibiotics in Malaysia on the rise, says health ministry

18-Nov-2016 Intellasia | New Straits Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The high prevalence of patients seeking antibiotic medication could lead to a risk of ‘Antimicrobial Resistance’ (AMR) or resistance for antibiotics.

Health minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said AMR is at a worrying level worldwide, including in Malaysia due to the widespread use and abuse of antibiotics.

“The rapid widespread spread of AMR will cause serious challenges to healthcare systems and threaten the ability of antimicrobials to effectively treat severe infections,” he said.

Subramaniam was speaking to reporters after launching the 2016 National Antibiotics Awareness Week today.

He said the ministry has established that uncontrolled usage of antibiotics among patients, both prescribed and un-prescribed, have increased.

“There are cases of people taking medications which was prescribed for others with specific ailments. They should not do this as it could lead to a serious condition.

“There were also cases where patients consumed antibiotics bought over the counter without doctors’ prescriptions.

“The effects of AMR could be even worse if patients fail to take the prescribed antibiotics according to the specified timing,” he added.

A study conducted by the ministry two years ago showed that only 26 per cent of patients were prescribed antibiotics in government clinics, as opposed to 61 per cent who received antibiotics from general practitioners.

“Based on a study on global AMR rates conducted in 2013, a total of 214,000 neonatal (newborn) deaths was related to ‘resistant sepsis infection’, a type of A

“This year’s study has projected some 700,000 deaths annually, and if this left uncontrolled, the number of deaths could go up to 10 million by 2050,” he added.

Dr Subramaniam said both doctors and patients are responsible for prescribing and consuming antibiotics.

“Doctors should not prescribe antibiotics if the patients don’t require it, and patients should not insist that doctors give them antibiotics if they are advised not to take it,” he added.

Malaysia had also taken steps to safeguard the effectiveness of antimicrobials by initiating the Antimicrobial Stewardship Programme in all government healthcare facilities to promote the judicious use of antibiotic among those who prescribe and dispense them.



Category: Health

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