“Awareness is a key to combat the growing resistance of pathogenic microbes to antibiotics,” said speakers at the World Health Day programme conducted by Roots Health Foundation at the Bezawada Bar Association here on Thursday.

Metropolitan Sessions Judge P. Sreesudha said that the adage “health is wealth” continued to hold good in these days of tremendous technological advancement too. Unfortunately, most people seemed to neglect it the most. Awareness was a key for protection of health, she said.

Dr. Ramesh Multispeciality Hospital and Research Foundation head and interventional cardiologist P. Ramesh Babu said that a few decades ago infectious diseases were the most common cause of death. But, with the development of antibiotics, cardiovascular diseases had become the most common cause of death. If the microbes become resistant to antibiotics, they would come back to the first place and become the most common cause of death again, he opined.

Financial burden

He said that drug resistant infections would increase the financial burden of healthcare, both for individuals and the government.

Treating infections would take longer and become costlier and the chances of mortality would also increase. Additional importance should be given to prevention and every hospital should follow “cleanliness protocols” meticulously to prevent the spread of infections that do not have a cure, Dr. Ramesh Babu said.

Bezawada Bar Association president Chalasani Ajay Kumar welcomed the gathering.

Former IMA all-India president G. Samaram said that antibiotics increased the average life expectancy of man from 34 to 70 years a few decades ago. If the microbes cannot be killed by the antibiotics, average life expectancy would come down again.

Legal angle

Mr. Ajay Kumar said that it was the responsibility of the legal community to ensure that individuals who violated the Drugs and Cosmetics Act by selling spurious/unprescribed drugs faced punishment.

Meetings were held at a few other places also to observe the World Health Day. Addressing members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Siddhartha Medical College Pharmacology head K. Sankar told them the precautions needed in prescribing drugs to which pathogenic microbes were becoming resistant.

IMA Vijayawada chapter secretary Anil Kumar presided over the function.

Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences director M. Yanadi Naidu and surgeon G. Ramamohana Rao told students of the Y.V. Rao Siddhartha College of Education, Kanuru, the precautions they should take while using antibiotics.

College principal G. Bhuvaneswara Lakshmi presided over the programme.

‘Healthy lifestyle'

At a meeting held at the office of the DMHO, district Collector B. Ramanjaneyulu called upon the people to lead a healthy lifestyle. The theme for this year's World Health Day is ‘Combat Antimicrobial Resistance', he said.

Mr. Ramanjaneyulu stressed the need for basic awareness on various diseases to be able to protect themselves from pain and suffering.

Good food habits and regular exercise would keep people fit and develop their capability to fight diseases. It was also people's collective responsibility to check environmental pollution, which had become a major health hazard.

Later, Mr. Ramanjaneyulu gave away prizes to para-medical staff who excelled in competitions organised in connection with the World Health Day and to the staff of the Medical and Health Department who performed well in the conduct of family planning programme. ADMHO Uma Devi was present.

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