Malawi health expert warns against abuse and overuse of antibiotics

A health expert has warned against the use of antibiotics without medical prescription saying the tendency can lead to drug resistance.

Abuse of antibiotics can be deadly

Head of Pathology Department at College of Medicine, Rajab Mkakosya, said in an intervoew that the misuse of antibiotics has resulted in the micro-organisms developing resistance and the drugs are no longer effective in treating infections.

“I am not saying all antibiotics are not working but most of them are not clearing infection. A good example of drug resistance is Tuberculosis (TB) which resurfaces a few months after completing treatment,” said Mkakosya.

Mkakosya said it is high time people were educated on the need for proper diagnosis at the hospital before taking antibiotics.

“The worst thing that is happening in the country that needs to be checked is the use of antibiotics by herbalists who normally add penicillin to the herb mixtures. When people take the herbs, micro-organisms develop resistance since the drug is being given in small doses,” Mkakosya said.

The expert said he is hopeful the anti-microbial resistance policy that World Health Organisation (WHO) asked member countries to formulate will help in addressing the issue of abuse, surveillance as well as conservation of the existing antibiotics.

In 2014, WHO asked each member country to develop an anti-microbial resistance policy by May 2017. By April 2017, Malawi had a draft the anti-microbial resistance policy, according to Mkakosya.



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