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 <"">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 <"">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.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: US Bomb Strikes Hospital In Kunduz

According to US military sources, “there may have been collateral damage” to the medical facility. “This incident is under investigation.” A statement issued by the office of the President Ashraf Ghani said that Army General John Campbell, chief of US-led forces in Afghanistan, apologised. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Fall Of Tony Abbott

The question was one of timing. The Coalition had been registering losses in poll after poll. The Abbott style hardly improved after a spill was forced on the party. Despite claiming that he would be ushering in a spring clean, he continued bypassing ministers and MPs... More>>



Pacific.Scoop: Smaller Pacific States Call For Coal Moratorium

PNG Loop: Leaders of the Pacific Smaller Island States have called on all nations – especially the advanced economies in the region – to rise to the challenge of climate change. They want to steer the world on a path where climate change is no longer a threat to earth. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news