x Health Men's Health Children's Health Nutrition and Wellness Reproductive Health Health & Science Digital News Videos Opinions Cartoons Education E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise BULK SMS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
Login ×
BTV
VAS
DCX
RMS

Why antibiotics are no longer healing you

Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa | December 25th 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Authorities have warned that antibiotics are no longer as effective in treating diseases among Kenyans due to overuse.

The ineffectiveness of penicillin and tetracycline has been blamed mainly on overuse and misuse, especially for treating viral diseases like colds and gastrointestinal infections.

“It is important to note that not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics don’t cure viruses like colds and flu,” reads a statement from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) Directorate of Pharmacovigilance.

The two antibiotics were singled out during this year’s World Antibiotics Awareness Week held in November, and their reduced efficacy was not only a concern, but also exemplified the grim reality of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Respiratory infections

“There is increasing resistance to antibiotics worldwide. Unfortunately, Kenya is not spared in this. In Kenya, these are the most commonly used antibiotics for gastrointestinal and respiratory infections,” notes the statement.

The reduced efficacy, as revealed by Charles Ochodo from the Ministry of Agriculture’s veterinary department, has also been as a result of the overuse of these two drugs in the rearing of animals for meat.

“They (penicillin and tetracycline) are almost useless in human beings. In the 60s, they were so effective as evidenced by the little time it took one to recover from infections,” Dr Ochodo said.

He added that the ministry is revising inspection laws to make it mandatory for meat to be inspected from time to time to find out if it contains antibiotics.

“We will also require to know where food dealers get their meat from and where they intend to sell it,” he said.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya boss, Daniella Munene, said as per drugs regulations, antibiotics fall under prescription-only medicine.

"It is sad to note that even with the resistance, so far we have no new antibiotics in the pipeline. Pharmaceutical companies have moved on to developing drugs for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cancer as that is where the money is," said Dr Munene.

The PPB pharmacovigilance office, however, could not point out to The Standard which specific brands in the market of antibiotics containing penicillin and tetracycline have been found to have reduced potency.

“It is the active pharmaceutical ingredient or drug molecule that experiences bacterial resistance based on many factors. Therefore, the drug resistance will not be pointed at specific brands. Once drug resistance affects a particular drug molecule, this cuts across the several brands that contain the drug molecule,” reads the PPB statement.

Spreading resistance

The regulator further mentioned that the poor disposal of expired or unused antibiotics containing the two ingredients has also contributed to the resistance. Flushing them down the toilet or sink leads to environmental pollution, with sewage treatment systems unable to completely remove the active pharmaceutical ingredients in wastewater.

“In addition, antibiotics that are disposed of on land can be absorbed by ... crops, therefore, playing a role in drug resistance through consumption,” added the statement.

Top Stories

How Covid-19 destroys the lung
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa


MP’s battle with Covid-19 at home
Health & Science - By Mercy Kahenda


Our clotting disease triggered by the sun
Health & Science - By Mactilda Mbenywe


When should a person be pronounced dead?
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa


Covid-19: Kagwe warns those using fake certificates as country records 1,554 new cases
Health & Science - By Vincent Kejitan


Blow for Kenyan doctors as court dismiss case to stop foreign doctors
Health & Science - By Paul Ogemba


Uhuru’s Sh930 billion kitty to fight Covid-19
Health & Science - By Dominic Omondi


Kidney specialist Dr Were succumbs to Covid-19
Health & Science - By Mireri Junior


Africa lacks preparedness for virus vaccine roll-out: WHO
Health & Science - By AFP


Covid vaccines: Why the safety process reassures experts
Health & Science - By AFP


Latest Stories

How Covid-19 destroys the lung
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa


Egyptian inventor trials robot that can test for Covid-19
Health & Science - By Reuters


Covid vaccines: Why the safety process reassures experts
Health & Science - By AFP


Counties haven't received Covid funds for 3 months, says Ongwae
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa


Uhuru’s Sh930 billion kitty to fight Covid-19
Health & Science - By Dominic Omondi


Blow for Kenyan doctors as court dismiss case to stop foreign doctors
Health & Science - By Paul Ogemba


Africa lacks preparedness for virus vaccine roll-out: WHO
Health & Science - By AFP


Covid-19: Kagwe warns those using fake certificates as country records 1,554 new cases
Health & Science - By Vincent Kejitan


Parliament orders release of sh500 million for healthcare workers medical cover
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa


Coronavirus remains infectious on surfaces for days by forming a 'pancake-like film'
Health & Science - By Mirror


//

Stay Ahead!

Access premium content only available
to our subscribers.

Support independent journalism
×
Log in
Support independent journalism
Create an account    Forgot Password
Create An Account
Support independent journalism
I have an account Log in
Reset Password
Support independent journalism
Log in