Millions dying from drug-resistant infections

By Abigirl Tembo

THE overuse of antibiotics for trivial infections has reduced the effectiveness of the drugs against serious ailments, which has led to over a million deaths worldwide.

According to the largest study on Antimicrobial resistance released a few days ago, more than 1.2 million people died on the globe in 2019 from infections caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

In Zimbabwe, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has led to the emergence of drug resistant gonorrhoea.

“The overuse of antibiotics has led to a lot of morbidity and a lot of mortality.At the end, we fail to  contain the diseases that we are supposed to eliminate, for example, recently it was reported that Zimbabwe  now has drug resistant gonorrhoea and a lot of people are going for months without getting fully treated  because the treatment for this gonorrhoea is no longer effective and what is sad is that these drugs are being sold on the streets and this is causing antimicrobial resistance,” said Dr Johannes Marisa a Medical Expert.

Zimbabwe has however made remarkable strides in dealing with the health threat through the government’s Antimicrobial resistance plan as alluded to by the Chairperson of the Education and Awareness Technical Working Group on AMR, Mr Tapiwa Kujinga.

“Commendable progress has been made by the government starting with the formation of the AMR core group as well as the finalisation of the research and antimicrobial situation analysis and the national action plan meant to curtail and reduce the incidences of Antimicrobial resistance,” he said.

Some of the most commonly abused antibiotics are Azithromycin, Doxycycline, Erythromycin Ciprofloxacin, Doxycycline, and Penicillin which are mostly used in the treatment of sexually transmitted infections.