Antibiotic Resistance In Malaysia Worrying – Dr Hilmi

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KUALA LUMPUR – Antibiotics resistance in the country is at a worrying level due to their frequent and widespread use and abuse in the health sector.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya said if the situation continued it would be difficult to treat diseases and increased the risk of spreading them.

“Statistics show antibiotics resistance in Malaysia have increased when the National Antibiotics Resistance Studies revealed an increased flow of Vancomycin antibiotics resistance to the bacteria Enterococcus faecium went up to 9.3 percent in 2014 compared to 8.4 percent in 2013.

“In fact, studies on new superbugs such as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) showed the number of infections went up from 150 cases in 2013 to 181 cases in 2014, with the number of deaths increasing from 25 per cent in 2013 to 37 per cent in 2014,” he said at the opening of the National level Antibiotics Awareness Week at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital here, today.

The Antibiotics Awareness Week is celebrated worldwide starting today until Nov 22 to inform the people on preventive measures to reduce antibiotics resistance worldwide.

As such, D Hilmi urged the public to always be sensitive to the taking of antibiotics and to often ask doctors on the need of antibiotics to treat their ailments.

“When I was serving (as a medical doctor), patients will always ask for antibiotics as if it is a need. On the other hand, ailments like fever or cough actually do not need antibiotics at all.

“So, now the patients must play a role and be aware of the effect of antibiotics in the long term by asking the doctor whether they need antibiotics,” he said.

He said a doctor’s prescription was also needed for the purchase of antibiotics at pharmacies to avoid abuse and antibiotics resistance.

Meanwhile Sungai Buloh Hospital senior consultant and Infectious diseases physician Datuk Dr. Christopher Lee explained that antibiotics only killed or retarded the growth of bacteria and could not kill other germs such as virus and fungus.

He said different antibiotics were needed to treat different bacterial infections and only doctors could decide suitable antibiotics for the patient. – BERNAMA