Experts fret about overuse of antibiotics

Experts fret about overuse of antibiotics

Health experts have urged people to cut 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 no less than 40 billion baht," said Dr Luechai Sringernyuang, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Mahidol University.

He made the statement recently at a conference titled "One Health Drivers of Antibacterial Resistance in Thailand" (OH-DART).

OH-DART is a three-way research project spanning Mahidol University's Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Chulabhorn Research Institute and the University of Bristol (UK), with funding provided by the UK's National Institute for Health Research.

"The widespread and incorrect use" of antibiotics in aquaculture and agriculture is severely impacting health and the environment, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Prapat Pothasuthon.

In 2016, the government endorsed the first five-year National Strategic Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance in Thailand from 2017 to 2021.The plan targets a 50% reduction in ABR morbidity, 20% and 30% reductions in antimicrobial use in human and animal health, and a 20% increase in public knowledge about AMR.

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