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The Epic Antibiotic Resistance Awareness Week: Nurses Speak By Alo Oluwafemi RN
Date Posted: 14/Nov/2018
The World Health Organization (WHO) once again sounds its alarm, triggering another resounding awareness on the global mainstream the catastrophic phenomen Antibiotic abuse, misuse and disuse will have on global health, food security and development, it is imperative that all stakeholders in the private and government sectors in Nigeria be ready to deal with a greater hydra-headed problem than HIV/AIDS, haemorrhagic diseases, malaria, hepatitis, malnutrition, cholera, and other non-communicable biological assaults like cancer.
Antibiotics are drugs used to fight the spread of diseases by killing the bacteria causing them, it was biotechnology designed against bacteria not humans. Meanwhile, over the decades, the bacteria have re-evolved and gone through several biological reengineering to resist the biochemical activities of antibiotics and have continued to pass on that genetic codes for antibiotic-resistance amongst the microbial families and also sharing it with other species of microorganisms. These natural readjustment by these pathogenic bacteria has been extensively studied to be a potential for greatest health hazards the world has ever faced. It could actually create a world where diseases becomes incurable and humanity nears its extinction. 
1. Over-prescribing of antibiotics: it is believed that one of the ways antibiotics gets into the hands of the population is via prescription by an health worker, however, in a society whereby drug distribution are not well-controlled and where users assumes the effects of antibiotics on humans and animals, abuse is inevitable. Both the health care worker, unqualified medical personnel and ignorant public are culprit to this end. Polypharmacy is injurious, all drug prescribers must lead in the fight against this problem by disarming compulsion, policies or treatment plan not in consonance with the appropriate national treatment guidelines for the disease condition. 
2. Users Not Completing The Prescribed Dosage: Though, health and medical workers can be worse users of drugs, especially antimalarial or antibiotics, but most patients who are given Oral drugs prescription home usually fail to complete the dosage of the drug as soon as the signs and symptoms of the disease subsides. No wonder patients complai of lack of potency of that same drug that could have healed the disease. If you have any problems with completing your drugs, talk an health care worker usually a Nurse,Doctor or Pharmacist before taking the decision to stop it. 
3. Over-use of Antibiotics in Livestock and Fish Farming: livestock poultry, fish farming are major areas where the government and other stakeholders are heavily investing in as at today because of its economic importance and impacts on development, however,when livestocks are exposed to over-use of these antibiotics in order to preserve the viability and enhance quality outcomes to maximise profits on the business, the produce from these farms are for direct consumption by man, who unknowingly ingest certain doses of these drugs indirectly via the food thus enhancing reinforcement of resistance to those biochemical agents by indwelling bacteria in the human host. It is thus important that dosing are complied with according to recommended dosage. 
4. Poor Infection Control in Hospitals and Clinics: It is so appalling how we easily tired when Ebola was contained, we have forgotten that prevention is the mother cure, and that the best way to win a war is to prevent it. Many hospitals and clinics needs to uphold strict infection control mechanisms in their various units, from hand washing, proper disposal of infectious materials and observing aseptic techniques religiously in specified procedures. We need to step up this game by demanding for the necessary supplies and tools. 
5. Lack of Hygiene and Poor sanitation:Most disease conditions affecting man pass through the mouth, inhaled or via sexual contacts. Effective hand washing with soap, not necessarily anti-biotic soaps that fills the cosmetic market these days, proper disposal of unused antibiotics and other drugs, dirts (which are homes to colonies of bacteria and fungi), faeces urine and oral/nasal secretions. Do not share handkerchiefs, blades, needles. 
6. Lack of New Advanced Antibiotics being developed: If you noticed that some wounds refuse to heal, or noticed delayed healing after appropriate wound culture and sensitivity tests despite completion of prescribed antibiotics dosage, your clinician would suspect probably the drug was fake, or having reduced potency, he/she would be obliged to recommend a higher and usually more expensive antibiotics to treat the infection. When these phenomenon continues it will result in a colossal damage by making naturally bacteria to be more stronger than the most powerful antibiotic agents. The cycle will continue to endure as we seek for cure from other sources like artificial intelligence and micro-robot modulations. Are we ready for this age? 
7. Staff Shortages: one of the dangers employers have made antibiotic-resistance to evolve at the expense of profit-making is through inadequate staffing of health care personnel especially Nurses. It is expected by job responsibility that a Nurse should care, administer drugs and monitor clinical effectiveness of her interventions for thirty patients in eight hours without resting in between. The outcomes according to different studies have revealed that the patients' will be greatly deprived of quality care, patients are not safe from error, they are also predisposed to omission of care due to work load, prolonged hospital stay, higher cost treatment and hospitalization and reduction in the quality of life of both patients and Nurses. Thus the hardworking Nurse and the patients end up not getting the value for their money. Another outcome is antibiotic resistance due to inappropriate dosing, an example is when a primary health care provider usually the Nurse cumbered with patients care couldn't meet up with the hourly administration of drugs to effect clinical healing of patients, this inadvertently provides ground for bacteria to thrive, and develop resistance against the antibiotics because it failed to exact its therapeutic effects within its appropriate therapeutic timing. 
In short, prevalence of antibiotics resistance can be connected to poor staffing for patient-centred care. 
This is antibiotic-resistance awareness week, it's a week we need to soberly reflect on the failure of our health care system in Nigeria, how we can improve our political responsibilities towards the people, for me being a Nurse, it's a week for self-examination and advocacy for better qualitative health care to improve the quality of life of Nigerians. 
Be in good health and well being, and be prepared to #Support the future of health care in Nigeria, it is a collective effort. Share the story, begin a conversation and take a Stand. 


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