An antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial substance active against bacteria and is the most important type of antibacterial agent for fighting bacterial infections.
There are different types of antibiotics. Each type is used for specific bacteria infection. Several drugs are abused in Nigeria, and antibiotics are one of them.
Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics. The cause of antibiotic resistance can be the over use and misuse of an antibiotic.
How does antibiotics resistance occur?
Each time a patient takes an antibiotic, the bacteria can either be killed while some are left alive. This causes them to grow and multiply afterwards.
Repeated use of antibiotic will increase the mutation of bacteria. Some bacteria can neutralize an antibiotic, thereby making them harmless. Bacteria also have the ability to change their outer structure.
WHO says antibiotic resistance can cause life threatening diseases, and it is a global health issue. Nigeria as a case study, this country suffer a great deal as a result of antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance is becoming alarming, and WHO has created a model to curb antibiotic resistance.
- To improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance.
- To strengthen surveillance and research.
- To reduce the incidence of infection.
- To optimize the use of antimicrobial medicines.
- To ensure sustainable investment in countering antimicrobial resistance
Mr Joe claims he rarely falls sick, hence he does not visit the hospital, except his wife gets delivered of a newborn body. With enthusiasm, he says he only buys drugs over the counter when he feels a bit funny; he suffers gastrointestinal infection frequently and skin reactions.
Mr Joe needs to visit the doctor today, because he has built a resistance to the antibiotics he buys over the counter.
As a nurse, if you meet Mr Joe on the ward today, you should help him by doing the following;
- Health educate your patient to use medications only when prescribed.
- Teach your patients on personal hygiene and sanitation, which include hand washing and decrease in drinking infected water. This is to minimize the spread of resistant infection.
- Participate in the pharmaceutical enlightening meeting, seminar in your workplace or community and learn what your hospital is doing to address antibiotic resistance.
- Tell your patients to use antibiotics when needed.
- As nurses, serve antibiotics as at when due, never skip a dose.
- Participate in discussing antibiotics and health care review at your place of work.
- Practice sanitation and hand washing procedure to prevent spreading of infection
- Protect your patients from infections, droplets, cross-contamination.
- Teach your patients to eat good food, maintain a good diet, and not abuse antibiotics.
As much as policy markers may not be able to provide solutions to antibiotic resistance faster than usual, nurses can help solve resistance problem.
Do you have any question?
Have a lovely week ahead.