The Health Ministry yesterday instructed people not to use antibiotic medicine when they have a fever or cold, noting that it makes treatment longer.
The instruction was issued as the World Health Organisation and 196 member countries, including Cambodia, celebrate World Antibiotic Awareness Week from Monday until November 24.
Ministry spokesman Ly Sovann yesterday said that use of antibiotic medicine without proper diagnosis and prescription will make treatment longer and could be life-threatening.
“If you just have a little cold or fever, you do not need to use antibiotics. Scientific findings show that about 60 percent of illnesses that cause fevers or colds do not require us to use antibiotics,” Mr Sovann said.
“In the case of having an illness for a few days, you do not need to take antibiotics without a prescription. Just eat more food to gain energy so that you will be better,” he added.
Mr Sovann noted that no new antibiotic drugs have been discovered for a century.
“For 100 years, we have not discovered new antibiotic drugs. So, when we regularly use them without a proper prescription, it will make treatment longer and it could lead to deaths,” he said.
He also said that owners of livestock should not use antibiotics for their farm animals without veterinary guidance.
Phe Thong, a state hospital doctor, said that in recent years, some patients have had infectious diseases caused by bacteria because those bacteria are resistant to the drugs.
“We have met some patients with a virus in their body which is resistant to all drugs and we do not have medicine to treat them,” he said.
According to a World Health Organisation report in 2018, at least 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases. The organisation predicts that drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and lead to a global financial crisis.