KUALA LUMPUR 29/09/2012: The use of antibiotics in Malaysia has to be streamlined due to an alarming rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria, said the Health Ministry's Department of Medicine, National Head and Consultant for infectious disease Datuk Dr Christopher Lee on Saturday.
He said the increase of bacteria such as Carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae and Multi Resistant Acinetobacter or, "Superbug" posed a significant threat to human health globally and has led to the emergence of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).
A one-month campaign to educate medical practitioners to use antibiotics sparingly will be launched Oct 16 jointly organised by the Ministry of Health, Malaysian Medical Association and Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society.
Dr Lee said the first phase of the campaign involved talks in government hospitals to educate medical practitioners on the importance of prescribing antibiotics sparingly.
" The second phase is to educate the public and create awareness on AMR. We will put up posters, banners and give out flyers to the public," he said.
Dr Lee noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has highlighted antibiotic resistance as a major threat to public health in the 21st century.
Meanwhile, the Ministry's Medical Development Division, senior principal assistant director Dr Suraya Amir Husin said the public played an important role in helping to control AMR.
"It is imperative that the public is aware of the importance of controlling the use of antibiotics. I hope people will pay special attention to the matter and help share the information with others," she said.
More information on AMR is available at http://www.infosihat.gov.my or 1-800-88-6722.