Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in response to the use of these medicines. Bacteria, not humans or animals, become antibiotic-resistant. These bacteria may infect humans and animals, and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria. Antibiotic resistance leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality. The world urgently needs to change the way it prescribes and uses antibiotics. Even if new medicines are developed, without behaviour change, antibiotic resistance will remain a major threat. Behaviour changes must also include actions to reduce the spread of infections through vaccination, hand washing, practising safer sex, and good food hygiene.
A recent report on the serious problem of global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by Lord O’Neill https://amr-review.org/, highlights the responsibility that all healthcare providers and policy makers share, to address this issue.