Health Experts Warn of Overuse of Antimicrobials
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health and Lifestyle report.
For today's report, we talk about the dangers, not of an illness, but of medicines -- antimicrobial medicines. Health experts are more and more concerned about the overuse of antimicrobials. A growing number of bacteria and other disease-causing organisms are developing resistance to these drugs.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says the growing resistance is a threat to people and animals alike.
The FAO recently noted an "increased use and abuse of antimicrobial medicines in both human and animal healthcare." It said their use and abuse has led to a growing number of disease-causing microbes that are resistant to traditional medicines.
FAO officials say this can be seen, for example, in multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. The problem is so serious that U.N. officials called a high-level meeting to consider the dangers of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance is also called AMR.
But just how widespread is antimicrobial use?
"We don't really know how much of the antimicrobials, including antibiotics, are being used in food and agriculture."
Juan Lubroth is an expert on animal health. He serves as the Chief Veterinary Officer for the FAO. He says there are many unanswered questions about the manufacturing and marketing of antimicrobial drugs.
"In fact, we don't really know how much is being made. Who is buying? Who is selling? How much is the international traffic, either as drugs ready to be used or the active ingredient inside a drug that is then formulated someplace else?"
Doctor Lubroth says the overuse of antibiotics involves everything: humans, animals and agriculture get caught in what he calls a cycle of disease transmission.
"We can get sick. They can get sick. They can die. They need the antibiotics to be given in a proper way so they can recover. So, it's not only about food and agriculture. It's also about our dogs and cats, our mascots."
Misuse of antimicrobials includes failing to follow directions and possibly taking someone else's medicine. Lubroth admits that even he has misused antibiotics.
"Even I'm guilty. My physician may have given me antibiotics to take for the course of a week, seven days, and I stopped at day six. Well, that's bad. That's not good. That's a misuse of the antibiotics."
Failure to follow directions when taking medicine is one way germs can develop a resistance to a drug.
The FAO says that antimicrobial medicines are critical in the treatment of farm animals and plants. "Their use," it says, "is essential to food security, human well-being and animal welfare."
Lubroth says the Food and Agriculture Organization has developed a four-part action plan for antimicrobial resistance.
"One is to create the awareness among the general public of the issue. Two would be to have the evidence. Have the surveillance in place that I can monitor when the antimicrobial resistance appears, and I report it in a timely fashion..."
The action plan calls for strengthening governmental agencies that deal with public health, food and agriculture. It also calls for sharing of information with each other and with medical experts.
Another part of the plan is to provide support for good practices in food and agricultural systems and the effective use of antimicrobials. Such drugs are often used in small amounts in animal feed to support growth. Once in farm animals, they become part of the food chain.
"I think that the consumers should be empowered to really push their governments or their food providers that they want safe food -- wholesome food. I think we can all agree on that. We may disagree on some of the specifics of how to get there, but I think that the consumer and the voice of the consumer has to be heard."
Lubroth says "the long-term consequences of not being able to use an antimicrobials because of resistance" would be terrible. He adds that the medicines bring a "global public good to the planet."
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.antimicrobial medicines 抗菌素
The discovery of antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines has been responsible for some of the most dramatic advances in human health.
Many disease-causing culprits such as bacteria and viruses are nano size.
3.led to 导致
The laws led to confusion, muddle and years of delay.
4.food chain 食物链
The whole food chain is affected by the overuse of chemicals in agriculture.
1.He serves as the Chief Veterinary Officer for the FAO.
serves as 担任
He serves as a clerk in a bank.
This phrase serves as a connecting link between the preceding and the following.
2."Their use," it says, "is essential to food security, human well-being and animal welfare."
food security 食品安全
Agriculture and food security are finally back to the international agenda.
Poverty, disease and conflicts have historically threaten food security.
今天，我们要谈论的危害不是某种疾病，而是一种抗菌药物 。健康专家越来越关注滥用抗菌药物的危害 。产生耐药性的细菌和致病微生物都在不断增加 。
最近，粮农组织指出“在人类和动物的卫生医疗方面，抗菌药物使用频繁甚至被滥用 。”该组织还称，这种抗菌药的滥用导致大量致病微生物对传统药物产生耐药性 。
粮农组织工作人员称，多耐药结核病就是个很典型的例子 。因问题过于严重，联合国召开高级会议探讨耐药性的危害 。抗菌素耐药性还被称作“AMR” 。
胡安·卢布鲁斯（Juan Lubroth）是动物健康专家 。现担任联合国粮农组织首席兽医官 。他表示，在抗菌药物的生产和销售方面还存在很多谜团 。
“我们会生病 。动、植物也会生病 。它们会死亡 。它们需要注射适量的抗生素恢复健康 。因此，这不仅是粮食和农业问题 。还包括狗和猫和吉祥物 。”
滥用抗菌药包括没有按照说明服用药物或不慎服用他人的药物 。卢布鲁斯承认他也曾滥用抗生素 。
“即便我也不例外 。医生给我开的抗生素是一周七天的量，但我第六天就吃完了 。这非常糟糕 。这样的行为很不好 。这是滥用抗生素的行为 。”
联合国粮农组织称，抗菌药物在农场动、植物的治疗中非常关键 。“抗菌药物对于食品安全、人类福祉和动物福利来说是不可或缺的 。”
“一个是提高公众对抗菌素滥用的关注 。二是搜集证据 。设立相关的监察机构，一旦出现抗菌素药品，可监视并及时举报......“
该行动计划呼吁政府加强对公众健康、粮食和农业的管理力度 。它还呼吁于他人和医学专家共享信息 。
该计划还包括为食品和农业领域合理使用的良好示范提供支持 。饲料中经常掺杂少量的抗菌素以加快动物生长速度 。一旦农场动物使用抗菌素，那么抗菌素也会成为食物链的一部分 。
“我认为消费者有权向本国政府和食品供应商施加压力，要求安全和健康的食品 。对此，我们的意见是一致的 。或许我们对某些具体做法有不同见解，但我相信政府已经听到了消费者们的呼声 。”
卢布鲁斯说：“细菌因耐药性而无法使用抗菌素的长期影响”十分可怕 。他补充说，药物为地球带来“全球性的公共利益 。”