Antibiotic abuse/misuse/overuse is one of the major issues faced by India today and it is one of the sole reasons which has led to the growing burden of antimicrobial resistance and many unwanted deaths, especially of children. Easy access to antibiotics to the general public coupled with high rates of contagious diseases has triggered the antibiotic resistance to its peak. The writer Mousomi Chakravorty, expresses her concerning views on the growing health hazards of India due to antibiotic abuse and severe pollution and also on the causes behind the pandemic COVID19.
As I told my friend Sid, that I would like to write regarding significantly important causes which lead/will lead to the emergence of serious medical conditions, I particularly wanted to focus only on the global antimicrobial resistance. This health problem has primarily been reported as one of the most serious concern in the scientific world as the WHO celebrates the annual awareness programme on antimicrobial resistance from 18th-24th November.
Reports from Research Councils UK suggest that India has the highest rate of antibiotic resistance in bacterial infections that occurs in community and healthcare facilities. The Lancet Microbe article, July 2021,’An evolving epidemic in a pandemic ‘summarises the alarming, widespread and unchecked antibiotic usage in India during COVID-19.
Let’s think of a simple situation, where you have some minor health issue as for example cold which could be easily treated without antibiotics and you or your pharmacist become your own medical practitioner. We buy antibiotics and consume them, which is not even required as it could be anything that needs accurate diagnosis, medical investigations or will resolve on its own. The implications of this activity will be a step towards the emergence of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are not toffee and hence they are there for a reason.
Over the years, the misuse of antibiotics has led to the antimicrobial resistance. The antibiotics are becoming ineffective and if we don’t stop now, then we would definitely come to a situation where we would run out of these magic bullets. So how does that happen? Microbes are one step ahead than humans and they have developed antibiotic resistant genes. They evolve at a faster pace and have only 1500-700 genes as compared to humans which have 20,000 genes. These drug resistant organisms can be found growing in polluted water, air and soil and are able to spread from these sources. In 2019, 32 antibiotics were considered to be in drug development; unfortunately, only six were classified as innovative drugs.
This article will also be my effort to address few major health concerns that has affected me the most in the recent few weeks and will be worth mentioning, The Delhi Death Dungeon, the carcinogenic particles in the air that will affect millions of children and immuno compromised patients, the suicidal toxic water ways as for example the Yamuna River where a number of people exposed themselves to high levels of ammonia during a religious celebration, the fatal outbreak caused by Dengue virus.
As I would like to go into depth, but since I am restricted to words and have to conclude this post here. I would encourage that each one of us become more sensitive to the issues that instead of sending each other positive mantra, happy life quotes and ‘ALL IS WELL’ popular terminologies which has no scientific evidence, we all should come together and think -’Where we did go wrong’,’ What role we could play’- towards a healthy future. I am reading now, the emergence of new’ COVID 19 variant’, do we all know what we need to do?
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Mousomi, a humanist, nature lover, mum and loves reading newspapers and scientific magazines. She has got an active interest in microbes mainly bacteria and viruses. Coming from a multicultural family, she loves meeting people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.