MoHAP Marks the World Antibiotic Awareness Week

Health Tips

  • 90% of colds are caused by viruses and do not require antibiotics
  • Always seeking a doctor’s advice before taking antibiotics, especially children
  • Once the doctor has confirmed that antibiotics are necessary, follow your doctor’s advice and adhere to the specified doses and dates duration
  • Continue taking the antibiotic and complete the course prescribed even if you feel better
  • Not keeping leftover antibiotic treatments. If you received more antibiotic doses (e.g. tablets, gel caps) than you were prescribed
  • Don’t share your leftover antibiotics with others
  • Prevent infections whenever possible, through appropriate vaccinations
  • Wash your hands and your children’s hands regularly, for instance after sneezing or coughing before touching other things or people

Under the theme “Fight Superbugs”, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, and The National Committee of AMR organized an awareness walk at Creek Park, Dubai, in conjunction with the World Antibiotic Awareness Week, which is celebrated each November annually.

The event aims to raise awareness about the global issue on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, enhance community awareness about the importance of the rational use of antibiotics, and encourage the best practices among members of the society, health workers, and decision-makers to curb the prevalence of this issue.

The antibiotic-resistant bacteria have become a dangerous threat to public health and human development at the global level, thus undermining the ability to treat infectious diseases.

MoHAP’s Efforts in Rationalizing the Use of Antibiotics

In this context, H.E. Dr. Hussein Abdel Rahman Al-Rand, Undersecretary of the Ministry’s Health Assistant Sector, Health Centers and Clinics, said: “This event falls within the national AMR action plan and as part of MoHAP’s efforts to provide comprehensive and integrated healthcare services in sustainable and innovative ways to prevent spread of diseases in the society.”

“MoHAP is keen on raising community awareness about the irrational and random use of antibiotics to avoid the consequences of antibiotics abuse, most notably, the growing capability of bacteria and viruses to resist antibiotics, thus losing their efficacy,” Al-Rand explained.

He underlined the importance of not taking antibiotics without consulting a doctor, pointing to MoHAP’s efforts in rationalizing the use of antibiotics through continuous awareness campaigns and the issuance of mandates to prevent the dispensing of antibiotics from pharmacies without a prescription. Solid action is needed at all levels to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics and prevent the continued spread of resistance.

Dr. Najiba M Abdul Razzaq, Head of Infection Prevention & Control, Central Committee, MoHAP, added that the antimicrobial resistance occurs when antibiotics become ineffective in killing bacteria and microbes. These resistant organisms spread and cause infections that are difficult to treat and prolong morbidity, hospital stay and require stronger antibiotics, which might then have more side effects and sometimes no antibiotics may work.

Antibiotics Don’t Work against Infections Caused by Viruses, such as Colds and Flu

Abdul Razzaq explained: “According to WHO, antimicrobial resistance is one of the most complex global health challenges in our world today. The world has long ignored warnings that some antibiotics are losing their effectiveness after decades of overuse or misuse in human medicines, animal health, and agriculture. This increases their exposure to life-threatening diseases. She also added that more than 90% of winter-related illnesses are caused by viruses and do not require antibiotics for treatment. Although we live in an age of technology and innovation, if we don’t take action today, we will soon find ourselves when a simple infection could kill millions.”

She mentioned that: “We have no time to waste and the future of antibiotics depends on all of us. Therefore, MoHAP urges community members to take antibiotics only when necessary, after seeking doctor’s advice.

Abdul Razzaq emphasized the need to adhere to doctor’s advice regarding dosage and duration, not to stop taking the antibiotic before completing the prescribed course even when the condition improves and not to use leftover antibiotics because this leads to the emergence of bacterial resistance against the antibiotic.

 “MoHAP also calls on healthcare facilities to implement antibiotic stewardship programs aligning with national and international guidelines to better handle antibiotics” she concluded.

WHO Messages

On this occasion, WHO highlighted the significant role of vaccination in preventing infection and mitigating the spread of antibiotic resistance. Also, oral hygiene and proper hand hygiene prevent the spread of infection and reduce the need to use antibiotics. Everyone has to consult his doctor before starting any antibiotic and avoid self-treatment to participate in reducing antimicrobial resistance. The future of antibiotics depends on all of us.

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