World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Report Reveals ‘Serious Threat’ To Global Public Health

First Un Report On Antibiotic Resistance Reveals ‘Serious Threat’ To Global Public Health

New York, Apr 30 2014 3:00PM

Antibiotic resistance – when bacteria change so antibiotics no longer work in people who need them to treat infections – is now a major threat to public health, says a new United Nations report released today.

The <"http://www.who.int/drugresistance/documents/surveillancereport/en/">study, produced by the UN World Health Organization (WHO), is the first to look at antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, globally, and provides the most comprehensive picture to date, incorporating data from 114 countries.

It reveals that this serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future; it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country, WHO pointed out in a <"http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/amr-report/en/">news release.

“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” said Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security.

“Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier, and benefit from modern medicine,” Dr. Fukuda noted. “Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global public health goods and the implications will be devastating.”

While the report notes that resistance is occurring across many different infectious agents, it focuses on antibiotic resistance in seven different bacteria responsible for common, serious diseases such as bloodstream infections (sepsis), diarrhoea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and gonorrhoea.

The results are cause for high concern, according to WHO, which documented resistance to antibiotics, especially “last resort” antibiotics, in all regions of the world.

For example, resistance to one of the most widely used antibacterial medicines for the treatment of urinary tract infections caused by E. coli – fluoroquinolones – is very widespread. In the 1980s, when these drugs were first introduced, resistance was virtually zero. Today, there are countries in many parts of the world where this treatment is now ineffective in more than half of patients.

WHO said that people can help tackle resistance by using antibiotics only when prescribed by a doctor; completing the full prescription, even if they feel better; and never sharing antibiotics with others or using leftover prescriptions.

Health workers and pharmacists can help tackle resistance by enhancing infection prevention and control; only prescribing and dispensing antibiotics when they are truly needed; and prescribing and dispensing the right antibiotic(s) to treat the illness.

The report, which is kick-starting a global effort led by WHO to address drug resistance, reveals that key tools to tackle antibiotic resistance, such as basic systems to track and monitor the problem, show gaps or do not exist in many countries. While some countries have taken important steps in addressing the problem, every country and individual needs to do more.

Other important actions include preventing infections from happening in the first place – through better hygiene, access to clean water, infection control in health-care facilities, and vaccination – to reduce the need for antibiotics. WHO is also calling attention to the need to develop new diagnostics, antibiotics and other tools to allow healthcare professionals to stay ahead of emerging resistance.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news