Antibiotic Resistance

The uncontrolled prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics causes more harm than good and must be avoided.

By Dr. Khwaja Ali Shahid | April 2021

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It was a daunting task for Dr. Baig to keep calm while being livid inside. Working as a Post-Graduate Resident in the Infectious Control Department of a Tertiary Care Hospital, Dr Baig was frustrated with the string of patients not agreeing with his prescriptions.

His was prescribing Paracetamol tablets along with certain lifestyle modification or dietary changes but these were not sitting well with patients reporting viral infections. A middle-aged female even remarked that she do not want to be treated by a doctor who was prescribing her a ‘meager Paracetamol’ for a Rs.500 OPD. She was of the view that the ‘Baray Doctor Sb.’ (an experienced and aged general practitioner) in her vicinity would prescribe an antibiotic or two, along with a drip and may be an injection. “Even, I, myself could have done better! What’s the use of such a big hospital!” she remarked.

The community as a whole has been evolving in such a manner that in the healthcare sector, all the stakeholders, including the doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmacies, patients and even their attendants, gauge the quality and efficiency of medical health care with the number of antibiotics and I.V. solutions indicated on the prescription.

The liberal, unaccounted for prescribing of antibiotics (antibacterial medicines) even in cases like mild viral infections or seasonal allergies, where there is absolutely no role of the former, continues in helping the critters to grow even stronger. This liberal use results in an unwanted phenomenon - Antibiotic Resistance.

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The writer is a physician, healthcare leader, traveller and a YouTuber hosting for the DocTree Team promoting OrganicGardening in Pakistan. He tweets @Ali_Shahid82

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