The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia appeal to people to join the fight against antibiotic resistance, as WHO in the Western Pacific Region are conducting a campaign seeking 1 million pledges to stop the misuse or overuse of antimicrobials.

The campaign was conducted on social media platforms. As of December 13, an estimated 220,000 people in the Western Pacific Region, including Cambodia, had registered for the campaign.

WHO said each person can take several easy measures to help support the campaign against antibiotic resistance.

It added that the greatest participation of the general population could be made through seeking specialist medical advice before using antibiotics. If a doctor prescribed antibiotics, they should follow the s instructions carefully.

WHO recommended that people join in to prevent the spread of viruses and reduce drug resistance by practising healthy daily habits. These include washing hands, preparing food hygienically and ensuring that their vaccinations are up to date.

“Thank you for your pledge to fight against antibiotic resistance by preventing infections and stopping the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials. Other measures you pledged will help keep communities safe and healthy. Please help make your family members and friends realise that you made the pledge and encourage them to do the same,” it said.

“Antimicrobial resistance happens when bacteria and other microorganisms mutate after being exposed to antimicrobial drugs. Antimicrobials are among the most common antimicrobial drugs used in humans and animals. The overuse and misuse of antimicrobials is speeding up the development of resistance and putting us all at risk,” it added.

The health ministry warned that antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, of any age, in any country. It is a threat to human health, food security and sustainable development.

“The participation of everybody in reducing antibiotics resistance will contribute to saving human lives and protect the future of us all. We appeal to the public to join us in reducing antibiotic resistance in two simple ways: Stop the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials and prevent the spread of infections,” it said.

WHO predicted that without a multi-sectoral coordination of drug resistance management, the problem will be responsible for as many as 10 million human deaths a year by 2050.