Published:  03:20 AM, 24 December 2020

Indiscriminate use of antibiotics poses high health risks

Indiscriminate use of antibiotics leading to the rapid spread of antibiotic resistance is posing serious threat to the health of human beings. But, there is still lack of a quantitative model to handle the risks properly, a workshop has been told.Though, the government has a policy on it, but there is no enforcement. As a result, the use of antibiotics has increased abnormally putting public health at risk. If the trend is not stopped, the situation may worsen in future.

Speakers made these remarks while addressing a workshop in the city on Tuesday night. The workshop titled 'Community Engagement and One Health Approach to Address Antimicrobial Resistance: Opportunities and Challenges' was held on a zoom platform with the participation of the stakeholders of different sectors.

The program was organized by the ARK foundation, an NGO engaged in the innovation of evidence-based solution, creating an impact on human life and good practice in health and development. Disclosing various negative trends, the speakers said, it is high time to make some strategic changes and implement the policy for the sake of public health. One health approach is very important, they said.

Everyone needs to participate in preventing the ineffectiveness of antibiotics and protecting human health, animal health, the environment and agriculture. They said, the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an issue of growing global concern. It is often cited as one of the most critical threats to global health, food security and development. We need to focus on disease prevention so that we do not have to use
antibiotics, they said.

Professor Abul Faiz, former Director of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said, "Prevention is better than cure. We need to focus more on prevention of diseases so that the dependency on antibiotics is completely eliminated. For this people should be aware about proper sanitation, food safety and waste disposal. Otherwise, public health may fall in high risk during and post corona pandemic."

Professor Shah Munir Hossain, former Director of DGHS said, "The responsibility of antibiotic resistance is on the shoulders of both the pharmacists and health care providers along with the irrational usage of antibiotics by the general public."

Dr. Khaleda Islam, former Director of Primary Healthcare and DAI- Fleming Fund reiterated the dangers of Antibiotic Resistance and urged the Director General of Drug Administration (DGDA) to change the colour of the antibiotic medicinal strips to Red, which will signal a caution to both the users and the sellers.Prof. Tahmina Shirin, Director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) said, "The government has a policy on the usage of the antibiotics. But, the implementation of the policy is very weak. It is now high time to implement the policy by modifying the strategies."

Dr. Kausar Afsana, Professor of James P Grant School of Public Health said, "One Health approach is vital. To make it successful, we have to identify and involve the key stakeholders of the Animal Sector, Agricultural Sector and WASH Sector in the process. Otherwise, it will
not be possible to reduce the use of antibiotics."

Professor Dr. Rumana Huque, Executive Director and Professor of the Economics Department in Dhaka University moderated the workshop, while Principal Scientific Officer of IEDCR Dr. Zakir Hossain Habib, Deputy Program Manager of Center for Disease Control Dr. Anindo Rahman, Evaluator of Center for Disease Control, Dr. Shahriar Rizvi, Representative of Southeast Asia One Health University Network, Dr. ANM Ehteshamul Kabir, Associate Professor of BSMMU Dr. Debatosh Paul, Professor of Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Science University, Dr. Amam Zonaid Siddiqui, Technical Advisor of The Union Advocate Syed Mahabubul Alam, Research Associate of Ark Foundation Dr. Fariza Fieroze and Senior Research Associate Zunayed-Al-Azdi among others were also present in the workshop.

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