Experts fret about overuse of antibiotics

Experts fret about overuse of antibiotics

Country records 80,000 antimicrobial resistance cases a year

Children take part in a rally held to raise awareness of overuse of antibiotics, at the MBK shopping centre in Bangkok in November. (Post File Photo)
Children take part in a rally held to raise awareness of overuse of antibiotics, at the MBK shopping centre in Bangkok in November. (Post File Photo)

Health experts have urged people to reduce their use of antibiotics amid an alarming rise in infections that are resistant to the drugs.

“Antibiotic resistance is considered a major public health problem in Thailand, with approximately 80,000 AMR [antimicrobial resistance] cases a year, leading to longer hospital stays, a higher chance of death and economic losses of at least 40 billion baht,” said Dr Luechai Sringernyuang, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Mahidol University.

He made the comment at a conference about a research project looking into antibacterial resistance in Thailand. It involves Siriraj Hospital, the Chulabhorn Research Institute and the University of Bristol in the UK, with funding provided by the UK National Institute for Health Research.

“The widespread and incorrect use” of antibiotics in aquaculture and agriculture is also severely affecting health and the environment, said Deputy Agriculture Minister Prapat Pothasuthon.

In 2016, the government endorsed the first five-year National Strategic Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance from 2017-21. It targets a 50% reduction in ABR morbidity, 20% and 30% reductions respectively in antimicrobial use in human and animal health, and a 20% increase in public knowledge about AMR.


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