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The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has launched a campaign to raise global awareness of antimicrobial resistance.

The campaign encouraged health practitioners in health facilities and policymakers to adopt best practices to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

This comes as part of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW), which runs from November 18 to 24 each year.

The application of infection control precautions is an effective way to reduce the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria through washing hands, limiting contact with infected or potentially infected people, maintaining good personal hygiene, and taking vaccinations required for each age group.

Dr. Mahmoud Al Mahmoud, Head of Pharmacy and Therapeutics Supply at PHCC, said: “The campaign covers cautions to be taken in dealing with antibiotics and delivers a comprehensive message that antibiotics are a valuable resource that must be preserved and should not be used to treat what is caused by bacteria unless they are prescribed by a healthcare professional.”

Dr. Al Mahmoud added that WAAW aims to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and urges patients, healthcare providers, and drug policymakers to adopt best practices to avoid the emergence and spread of more cases of antibiotic resistance, stressing that patients should not share these antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics for a later illness, and should complete their full course of antibiotics.

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change and become resistant to antibiotics designed to kill them, explained Dr. Al Mahmoud. He also noted that antibiotic resistance is accelerated by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics.

PHCC organises lectures on the optimal use of antibiotics and designs leaflets to educate patients about the importance of rational use of antibiotics, as well as correcting some wrong practices and misconceptions that antibiotics are used to treat influenza and common cold although they do not affect viruses.

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