September 16, 2019
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 In Antibiotic Resistance

Country: Philippines
Delegate Name: Riley Gailey

Country: Philippines
Committee: ECOSOC
Topic: Antibiotic Resistance
Delegate: Riley Gailey
School: Williamston High School

Antibiotic resistance has become a global health issue due to lacking regulations for antibiotics and the illegal sale of these medicines. As humans consume more antibiotics, the body becomes more immune to medicine used to traditionally fight off infections such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. Although resistance to antibiotics is somewhat natural as mankind continues to evolve, mismanagement of these drugs leads to heightened ineffectiveness of widely available medicine. As people become more tolerable to antibiotics, they experience longer hospital stays to treat normally treatable problems, requiring more financial expense and adding stress onto medical personnel at already short-staffed hospitals after the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that travel has been opened up more, the risk of disease spreading has increased as well as the added risk of death. If antibiotics continue to be overused and unregulated, hospitals will overflow, easily accessible medicine will become unusable, and the cost of health care/treatment will rise. No nation is unaffected by the health crisis that antibiotic resistance poses to each nations’ citizens and economies.

The use of antibiotics in the Philippines has been largely unregulated as 21-66% of its citizens self-medicate themselves with antibiotics found at 60% of sari sari market stands. Sharing of antibiotics is also quite common among Filipino families where only 41% of acquired medicine is labeled with expiration dates. The Philippines recently implemented the Philippine Universal Health Care Act (UHC) that provides universal health care to all citizens of the Philippines, adjusted to include health care stays involving COVID-19. The Philippines lack of medical resources however, means that they have been largely unable to provide proper healthcare for all citizens, specifically those in more rural and remote areas. The Philippines would need over 40,000 hospital beds and additional facilities to adequately provide health services to everyone. Because antibiotics are a more widely available, cheaper option to extensive health care, those in the Philippines usually opt to get herbs from healers containing antibiotics, or choose to self-medicate. In a recent study though, it was found that between 29-95% of Philippine citizens held misconceptions about the use and effects of antibiotic medicine.

The Philippines hopes to implement more educational programs that would inform the general public on the management, effect, and causes of antibiotic usage, specifically with a focus on antibiotic resistance. By making the public more aware, we can reduce the individual indulgence into antibiotic use especially on a self-medicated basis. In order to close the gap of inequality in medical resources based on geography, the Philippines wishes to invest in telemedicine as a way to reduce the cost of travel for these citizens on the outskirts of medical hubs, and unclog medical facilities for less severe cases. Government policies would also be an effective strategy the Philippines wishes to implement in order to regulate the use and transit of antibiotics, both those prescribed by doctors and those sold at sari sari stands or shared within families. The Philippines urges the cooperation of the United Nations to share resources and research on antibiotic medicine in order to globally attack this world health issue with the assistance of the World Health Organization (WHO). By creating a global health network, we can easily communicate the best treatments for illnesses and diseases by backing continued research on antibiotic resistance.

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