Bacterial resistance is a way of calling the phenomenon that occurs when bacteria learn to defend themselves against antibiotics. Taking antibiotics whenever the throat hurts, ingesting those that are saved after infections or those that other people have preserved, can cause the phenomenon. If this behavior prevails, it would cause widespread resistance and make common and safe procedures such as surgeries, high risk situations.
In addition, the number of people who die annually worldwide from antibiotic resistance (70,000) could increase to 10 million people by the year 2050, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
As bacterial resistance is a situation that is under global alert, the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) promotes educational actions in patients and doctors to reduce the misuse of antibiotics.
One of them is the Antimicrobial Optimization Programs (PROA), which are a set of actions focused on improving patient outcomes, reducing antimicrobial resistance, infections and achieving savings in health costs.
The institution also asks people to take this type of drug only when the doctor prescribes it and when this happens, to comply with the indications including finishing the treatment completely, despite the fact that they feel improvement before finishing.
“Complying with the indications is important because antibiotics are very careful: they are prescribed with exact days and in the right doses to guarantee the eradication of the bacteria and achieve clinical improvement, therefore, if people deviate from the scheme, taken uncontrollably or left incomplete, they can cause damage and resistance to treatment”, explained Jorge Chaverri, an infectious disease specialist at the Calderón Guardia Hospital.
The expert stressed that it is a serious mistake to take medication just because it worked for other people with similar symptoms. “The opposite can happen. The patient can maintain discomfort and can make the bacteria get used to the antibiotic; when they really need them, they will no longer be able to use them,” he commented.
The CCSS reported that it also works in the education of doctors and dentists, to whom they remind the indications and schedules of use of therapies.[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]