Government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd said yesterday cabinet members had approved a plan for 2017-2021 aimed at reducing the surge of antimicrobial resistance in the country.
Proposed by the Ministry of Public Health, the plan aims to cut drug resistance by 50%.
It will also increase awareness of safe use of antibiotics among the public by 20%, he added.
More than 38,000 people succumb each year to drug resistance from various illnesses and the number is likely to increase, Maj Gen Sansern said.
Drug-resistant infections cause economic and social losses, Maj Gen Sansern said, adding resistance to antibiotics means treating once basic illnesses becomes more difficult and costly.
The main factor in drug-resistant infections in the country is excessive use of antibiotics bought over the counter, he said adding some people do not know how to use medicine properly.
Antibiotics are easily bought over the counter, he said.
Maj Gen Sansern said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had ordered the Public Health Ministry to speed up its plan.
The premier also urged health personnel to educate the public about proper use of antibiotics, adding the ministry should work on increasing of the use of traditional Thai medicines among Thais.
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