In her message, Dr. Mirta Roses, PAHO Director, states that in recent decades the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance has dramatically accelerated. This situation is related with the increased use of antimicrobials. Most of the antimicrobials are used in agriculture and animal stockbreeding for food production; as for clinical use, an estimated half of the antimicrobials employed are used improperly. They are often prescribed to treat other health problems which don’t need antimicrobials, the treatment is no completed as indicated or the quality of the medicine is not adequate.
Dr. Gustavo Vargas, Acting PAHO Representative in Belize, takes this opportunity to remind the general public not to medicate themselves when they have malaria symptoms. The Ministry of Health through its malaria program in all districts provides free diagnosis and treatment. Auto medication and non-compliance to treatment can result in resistance to antimalarial medication.
World Health Day 2011 seeks to raise awareness of factors that contribute to antimicrobial resistance, to build commitment to common solutions across diseases, and to encourage the implementation of policies and practices that can prevent and contain antimicrobial resistance.
Antimicrobial resistance is not a new problem but one that is becoming more dangerous. Many countries are taking action, but urgent and consolidated efforts are needed to avoid regressing to the pre-antibiotic era.
The Pan American Health Organization, which is the Regional Office in the Americas of the World Health Organization, was founded in 1902, and works with all countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples. The PAHO/WHO Country Office in Belize was established in the 1950s.
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