There is fire on the mountain, yawa dey gas, kasala don burst.
What is happening you ask? Big, really big. Antibiotics are failing and na we cause am. We are all guilty either by omission or commission. Bacteria haff now started forming big boys and rugged men even in the presence of antibiotics. Simply put dey don get Liver.
Antibiotics are medicines that help stop infections caused by bacteria. They do this by killing the bacteria or by keeping them from replicating and multiplying.
Before the discovery of antibiotics in the 1920s people died from minor infections and illnesses. Surgical procedures were often risky and deadly. Nearly always, while the surgery would be successful, the patient would often die afterwards.
The advent of antibiotics reduced all these and in addition helped increase life expectancy.
Sadly, antibiotics resistance is on the increase. Antibiotic resistance is said to develop when drugs that hitherto could treat certain infections are no longer able to because the causative organisms have literally devised a means of remaining active despite therapy with such antibiotic. Bottom line , ordinary infections that were easily treated with antibiotics are now becoming difficult to treat.
Additional effects are increased duration of stay in hospital, attendant rise in medical bills and even death can result. The statistics are frightening, it is projected that by 2050, antibiotic resistance will account for 10 million global deaths each year.
The dominant factor in antibiotic resistance is abuse. In Nigeria, we are good at it. Anybody can prescribe antibiotics. Commonly no prescription is needed or demanded before it is sold in most outlets. Often too, people use the wrong antibiotics for the wrong diseases at the wrong doses for the wrong duration of time and in the wrong combination. This sure is a festival of wrongs.
Examples abound, for diarrhoea; Flagyl, Tetracycline and Thalazole suffer abuse. For sore throat the first eleven in the abused squad include Septrin, Ampicillin and Ampiclox. Everyone too sells and dispenses antibiotics. From the neighbourhood ‘onye chemist’ to the ‘Aboki’ in the motor park and the itinerant marketer in the intercity bus. They know it all. Marketing the wrong antibiotics for the wrong aliments and doing it confidently.
Lately poultry farmers are increasingly feeding antibiotics to their flock to treat, control and prevent disease. This practice is beginning to emerge as a significant factor in the upsurge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These resistant bacteria are then passed to humans through the food chain.
Wrongful use of antibiotics, in addition to the deadly effect of drug resistance and treatment failure, also distorts the bacteria composition of the body. Keeping this balance is important because you need some bacteria to help with the production of vitamin K and some of the B complex vitamins. Without adequate vitamin K, you run the risk of bleeding to death when you get a cut or minor injury.
The come has become and we can either be villains or victims. There is no mid way zone.
Antibiotics are prescription drugs and should be treated as such. The life you save by not abusing antibiotics could be yours.