With an ever-increasing threat, an emerging trend on antibiotic resistance globally and in countries that have few options like Kenya, it is worrying to imagine that seven out of 10 children under five years are ‘overly’ exposed to antibiotics, according to a new report.
It is even more concerning when this is found to be happening among children admitted in the country’s biggest referral hospitals—namely, Kenyatta National Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and Coast Provincial General Hospital— the study report, published in Plus ONE Journal, revealed. Here, the usage of antibiotics was higher among children, with 150 out of 224 sampled on different antibiotics reportedly higher than what is being reported in high-income countries.
If the recently published international study is anything to go by, the overuse of antibiotics poses an increasing threat to children who develop or already have drug-resistant infections that are difficult or impossible to treat and can cause extended hospitalisation, disability and even death.
Health experts warn that prevention is better than cure—and the potential of vaccines in combating drug resistance. In a place where high prices of newer antibiotics is still hard to access, it is important for governments (both the national and county ones) to improve medical infrastructure and control hospital-acquired infections to curb the spread of the antibiotic-resistant germs.
Parents, too, must take care not to overexpose their children to antibiotics as that could prove disastrous in the long run. Among other issues, antibiotic resistance is real and present danger and must be avoided at costs, starting with regulated use of prescribed antibiotics, in children and even adults.