The Minister of Health Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama
By Rula Su’a Vaai
APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2017: The Minister of Health Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama has issued a strong warning to the public about the irrational use of antibiotics.
The warning is in light of the steady increase in the number of micro-organisms or bacteria that are resistant to antibiotic treatment.
The minister said the Ministry’s concern is that people are not seeing a medical doctor but are using their connections or family members at the hospital to get their antibiotics or using other patients’ antibiotics without proper medical consultation.
“It is not a good practice and please do not do it,” the Minister urged.
Dr. Tuitama said it is very important that a patient must complete the cycle as prescribed by a medical practitioner.
“If that cycle is not completed as directed by a doctor, it will create resistant bacteria within your body,” he explained.
“What happens when you are sick and go to the hospital, the doctor will prescribe a new antibiotic which will not work because of the resistant micro-organisms present in your body.”
A presentation by the Health Antibiotic Team shows a certain bacteria, namely MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus) is resistant against the use of flucloxacillian tablets.
Statistics in 2014 sowed almost 200 patients reported to the hospital were tested positive of MRSA, and between January and October 2017, more than 500 specimens confirmed that were resistant against the use of antibiotics particularly MRSA.
Dr. Tuitama says the Ministry is now faced with a new issue. “The challenge now is the new anti-microbial resistance, which means the Ministry is working towards alternatives on how to counter these resistant bacteria.”
The Minister was speaking at the close of the weeklong public awareness campaign urging the public to be more vigilant in the use of antibiotics.