DOH alert doctors on AMR

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Legazpi City (Nov. 17, 2017) – The Department of Health (DOH) has cautioned physicians particularly those engaged in medical missions to refrain from casually prescribing or dispensing medicines especially antibiotics.

Sec. Paulyn Ubial warned that the misuse and abuse of medicines specifically antibiotics may cause anti-microbial resistance (AMR).

Ubial explained that AMR is the ability of bacteria and other microorganisms to develop resistance until such time that treatments are no longer effective.

This results, according to the secretary, to the persistence of the infection that may spread to others.

She said, feedback reaching her department say that there are some doctors conducting medical missions that unconcernedly prescribe medicines to patients without a thorough medical check-up.

Ubial advises doctors that patients should undergo a comprehensive examination in a health facility before any medicines or drugs are prescribed.

The secretary warned these physicians that the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) explicitly prohibits the dispensing of drugs and medicines without the proper prescription.

It would be better for the condition of the patient, she said, to be totally studied before any medications are given.

Medical missions, she clarified, are not being banned by the DOH.

However, the secretary stressed that these programs should limit themselves only to examining and treating minor ailments and not the more serious cases.

This was the reply of Sec. Ubial amidst media reports that AMR was now a serious threat worldwide.

The secretary confirmed this saying that AMR is now ranked as the fourth major health concern of the United Nations (UN) aside from HIV-AIDS, Ebola and the non-communicable diseases.

She added that according to a report of the World Health Organization (WHO), 700,000 people died last year due to AMR. (J.Garalde)

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