They are considered to be powerful medicines in the fight against harmful bacteria. And when used correctly, doctors say, antibiotics can save lives.
However, on World Consumer Day yesterday, the focus was on misuse of those drugs, as Government’s lead consumer rights spokesman warned of an over-reliance on antibiotics in areas of animal research and development.
Ministry of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss also cautioned Barbadians about the harmful effects of antibiotics abuse, pointing out that in the United States there were over 20 000 deaths and two million illnesses among people who had developed a resistance to the drugs, according to the US-based Centers for Disease Research and Policy..
“This places all of us at great risk because if those antibiotics do not work in the timeframe and with the level of success, then we may find ourselves with some illnesses re-emerging in our societies and certainly doing great harm to us,” said Inniss, as he addressed a public awareness event in Jubilee Gardens yesterday to mark World Consumer Rights Day, 2016, under the theme, Antibiotics Off The Menu.
However, he said Government remained focused on ensuring that the rights of consumers were protected.
“You [the consumer] actually are perhaps the strongest group in our society. Even if the term is not used on a daily basis, it does not deny the fact that the consumer is at the centre of all of our work and actions in Government,” he assured.