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AMR – Antimicrobial resistance (antibiotic resistance) is one of the deadliest threats we face. But then why is a food safety website talking about this? Because poor sanitation is the primary cause of this and that means, contaminated food and water.

Only about 70 years ago, India had a per capita lifespan of only 36 years, compared to almost 70 years today. This is because most people died young, due to diseases that either do not exist anymore, or do not kill so easily any more.

The diseases that don’t exist anymore have been removed by vaccinations — smallpox and polio, for example. 

The reason why some other diseases don’t kill so easily anymore is antibiotics. From tuberculosis to typhoid, and many other infectious diseases, are now treatable with antibiotics.

Medical technology in the form of antibiotics and vaccinations is responsible for a considerable part of our extended lifespans.

AMR now threatens this, as an increasing number of pathogens are becoming resistant to antibiotics, and humanity is on the verge of a disaster. Millions of people could die every year from untreatable diseases.

Antibiotic Stewardship or education on the safe use of antibiotics was the primary method to address the problem. But not anymore. Sanitation is the primary target, which means better personal hygiene, keeping diseases away. Here is what Dr Abdul Ghafur says on the subject –

Clean water, clean hands, safe food and safe eating habits are the most important things to keep disease away and to keep antibiotic-resistant infections away.

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