Antibiotics are drugs that fight infections caused by bacteria in both humans and animals. They fight these infections either by killing the bacteria or making it difficult for the bacteria to grow and multiply.

Often, people tend to treat some viral infections (Most Flu, sore throat, cough, sinuses ear infections and cold) with antibiotics, but we must note that antibiotics do not have any effect on viruses.

What is Antibiotics Resistance

According to CDC in the article “Antibiotic resistance questions and answers”, Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria survive and continue to multiply, causing more harm and the infections they cause are harder to treat than those caused by non-resistant bacteria.

How does Antibiotics Resistance happen?

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections.

The bacteria survive and continue to multiply causing more harm. Bacteria can do this through several mechanisms. Some bacteria develop the ability to neutralize the antibiotic before it can do harm, others can rapidly pump the antibiotic out, and still others can change the antibiotic attack site, so it cannot affect the function of the bacteria.

In addition, bacteria that were at one time susceptible to an antibiotic can acquire resistance through mutation of their genetic material or by acquiring pieces of DNA that code for the resistance properties from other bacteria.

Can Antibiotics Resistance be prevented/controlled?

In November 2017, World health Organisation(WHO) outlined several preventive and control methods in her fact sheet for achieving non-resistance of antibiotics. They include;

  1. Use antibiotics as prescribed by a certified health professional.
  2. Do not demand antibiotics if your health worker says you don’t need them.
  3. Always follow your health worker’s advice when using antibiotics.
  4. Never share or use leftover antibiotics.
  5. Prevent infections by regularly washing hands, preparing food hygienically, avoiding close contact with sick people, practising safer sex, and keeping vaccinations up to date.


Antibiotics Resistance in Nigeria

In January 2017, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control brought together experts from various Ministries and Agencies, academia and the private sector to chart a path towards a National Action Plan to combat antibiotics resistance in Nigeria.

Though there is no specific medical statistics antibiotics resistance in Nigeria, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has taken a lead on this initiative of coordinating all relevant national actors to ensure Nigeria fulfils this key milestone before the 70th World Health Assembly in May 2017.


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