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WHO: Most countries not protecting antibiotics

The WHO has warned that the world is moving towards a "post-antibiotic era" where common infections may possibly become difficult to control because of over dependence on antibiotics and other microbial medicines as most countries are not protecting antibiotics.

The WHO has released the findings of a survey that was concluded by 133 countries in 2013 and 2014. The survey takes into account the governments' own calculations of their reaction to resistance to anti-microbial medicines.

The report emphasized "major gaps" in actions required across all the six WHO regions to avoid the abuse of antibiotics. It showed that only one in four of the countries have national plans for fighting antibiotic resistance. India is one of the 34 countries to have a national plan for battling the rampant problem.

The WHO stated that antibiotics are abused by obtaining without prescription, unsuitably or incorrectly prescribing antibiotics, not able to complete a course of antibiotics at the user-level, poor quality of medicines , sub-optimal doses and fake medicines.

The other major problem revealed by the report is the lack of public awareness; many people still believe that antibiotics are for viruses. In 2013, a survey was conducted in the EU which indicated that about half the population thought that antibiotics are administered against viruses.

The WHO has established a draft Global Action Plan to fight antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance. The plan will be presented at the 68th World Health Assembly taking place next month in Geneva.