UPSC Current Affairs for UPSC IAS
UPSC Syllabus: Prelims: disease burden, Mains – GS Paper III – Science and technology
Sub Theme: AMR issues | UPSC
- Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health and development threat. It requires urgent multisectoral action in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- WHO has declared that AMR is one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.
- Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are the main drivers in the development of drug-resistant pathogens.
- Lack of clean water and sanitation and inadequate infection prevention and control promotes the spread of microbes, some of which can be resistant to antimicrobial treatment.
- The cost of AMR to the economy is significant. In addition to death and disability, prolonged illness results in longer hospital stays, the need for more expensive medicines and financial challenges for those impacted.
- Without effective antimicrobials, the success of modern medicine in treating infections, including during major surgery and cancer chemotherapy, would be at increased risk.
What are antimicrobials?
Antimicrobials – including antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitic – are medicines used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals and plants.
What is antimicrobial resistance?
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.
Six major causes of antibiotics resistance:
- Over-prescription of antibiotics
- Patients not finishing the entire antibiotic course
- Overuse of antibiotics in livestock and fish farming
- Poor infection control in health care settings
- Poor hygiene and sanitation
- Absence of new antibiotics being discovered
- Patients taking antibiotics without consulting doctors & practitioners
Global Antibiotic resistance implication
The consequences of Antibiotic resistance is highly problematic because of its severity
- Leads to higher medical costs
- Prolonged hospital stays
- Increased mortality.
- Old researched antibiotics not working effectively/at all on diseases, hence new medicines need to found
- The cost of AMR to national economies and their health systems is significant as it affects productivity of patients or their caretakers through prolonged hospital stays and the need for more expensive and intensive care.
- Without effective tools for the prevention and adequate treatment of drug-resistant infections and improved access to existing and new quality-assured antimicrobials, the number of people for whom treatment is failing or who die of infections will increase.
- Medical procedures, such as surgery, including caesarean sections or hip replacements, cancer chemotherapy, and organ transplantation, will become riskier.
Do’s and Dont’s of Antibiotics
- Do not use antibiotics to treat viral infections, such as influenza, the common cold, a runny nose or a sore throat. Ask your doctor for other ways to feel better.
- Use antibiotics only when a doctor prescribes them.
- When you are prescribed antibiotics, take the full prescription even if you are feeling better. Ensure that members of your family do the same.
- Never share antibiotics with others or use leftover prescriptions.