Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Alarming increase in antibiotic-resistant superbug

Alarming increase in antibiotic-resistant superbug - Greens

26 March 2000

A 2150 per cent increase during the last decade in the incidence of the most common antibiotic-resistant superbug in New Zealand is alarming, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

The superbug, Methicillin Resistant Staphlyococcus Aureus (MRSA), is carried on the noses or skin of healthy people without harming them, but can be dangerous for a person weakened by a hospital stay.

Ms Kedgley was informed of the percentage increase by the Minister of Health in answer to a written parliamentary question. Between June last year and January this year, 77 people were diagnosed with MRSA infections at Wellington Hospital, although infection control measures have since controlled the outbreak.

The Minister of Health also confirmed that the percentage of cases of streptococcus pneumoniae resistant to penicillin had increased from 1.3 per cent in 1981 to 15.1 per cent in 1998.

"These figures show an alarming increase in antibiotic resistance in New Zealand," Ms Kedgley said. "The indiscriminate use of antibiotics in agriculture and medicine is squandering the greatest medical advance of the 20th century."

While infection control measures could help keep a lid on hospital superbug infections, they are a band-aid solution, she said.

"We need an urgent strategy to reduce the amount of antibiotic use in human medicine and in agriculture - ideally to less than half the present level. The strategy should prohibit the practice of feeding antibiotics as growth promotants to animals who are not sick, and stop the current practice of spraying a total of 1.2 tonnes each year of the antibiotic streptomycin on stonefruit, tomatoes and apples.

"Any antibiotic which is important in treating human diseases should not be used for agricultural purposes, in order to protect its effectiveness," said Ms Kedgley. "We need to find lifestock and horticultural production methods that do not rely on routine antibiotic use."

Ms Kedgley said she was also concerned to see resistance emerging to the last antibiotic effective against many multi-resistant superbugs, vancomycin. The Minister of Health stated, also in a written answer, that eight cases of vancomycin-resistant enterococcus had been reported in New Zealand since 1996.

Copies of written answers from the Minister of Health available on request.

Sue Kedgley MP: (04) 470 6728 or 025 270 9088 Gina Dempster, Press secretary: (04) 470 6723 or 021 1265 289

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news