Last week as I attended one of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious' talks for their 33rd Annual Convention, one news that alarmed everyone, a news that no one is wishing to hear especially now that Christmas is just around the corner - Superbug is here.
A few months ago, on the launch of Unilab and Watsons' Compliance Pack, everyone was informed about this new deadly bug that is about to reach the Philippine shore. This is a deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria and is currently incurable has been the center of the whole event asking everyone to be cautious and ready.
But on this 33rd Annual Convention, Dr. Celia C. Carlos, MD, FPIDSP, FPPS, FPSMID, Consultant in Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases discussed in her report on antimicrobial resistance in the Philippines that the first-ever NDM-1 positive case was reported to them, and it seriously alarmed the audience.
The first victim was reported to a be a female, 33, and was admitted at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Hospital (CLMMH) in Bacolod City last March 4, 2011.
During the one-on-one session that we had with Dr. Rontgene M. Solante, president of PSMID and Mr. Lyle Joseph Morell, Health Business Unit Head of Watsons, they shared again to us the 4 Filipino common practices of antibiotic misuse.
First, SELF-MEDICATION. This happens when a patient buys antibiotics without consulting a doctor. Mr. Morell said that in WATSONS they follow the "No Prescription, No Medicine" Policy so as to help our fellows in a good way. They know how expensive seeing a doctor nowadays, but they don't want their customers to be in greater danger, so they are asking them to seek doctor's attention first.
Second, SKIPPING A DOSE OF ANTIBIOTIC. One reason why Watsons and Unilab work hand-in-hand now is to make sure that our fellow who are taking antibiotics wouldn't have the reason to skip their meds. According to Dr. Solante, patients who miss a dose or several doses of antibiotic are allowing bacteria to recover from -and develop a resistance-to the antibiotic's effects.
Third, STOPPING ANTIBIOTICS USE TOO EARLY. An unfinished prescription may lead to resurgence of the infection, that's why Watsons and Unilab strongly believe that offering something like the Compliance Pack will help our poor fellows more. With this complete pack of medication, there's a 100% possibility that they'll get cured and safe from any viruses.
And lastly, USING ANTIBIOTICS LIKE OVER THE COUNTER DRUGS. Taking antibiotics without the proper prescription of doctors may lead to a viral and bacterial infection. In a medical study made by Dr. Solante, 66% of antibiotics sold in Manila were sold without prescription, a practice that when done often enough may lead to the emergence of superbugs.
Now, there are two types of bacteria that are already ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT, one that causes gonorrhea and another that causes tuberculosis. And with the addition of NDM-1 to the number of these diseases spreading in our country, our only hope is ourselves.
Following a simple instruction on taking medicines, plus a healthy lifestyle will keep us safe and healthy, not only this coming holiday season but through out the year and the years to come.