A new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) on antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic resistance globally, reveals that the threat is currently happening in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country. Antibiotic resistance, the report says, is now a major threat to public health.
“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,” says Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security.
The report, Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance, which notes that resistance is occurring across many different infectious agents, focuses on antibiotic resistance in seven different bacteria responsible for common, serious diseases such as bloodstream infections (sepsis), diarrhea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and gonorrhoea. The results are cause for high concern, documenting resistance to antibiotics, especially “last resort” antibiotics, in all regions of the world.
Key findings from the report include:
Ways to fight antibiotic resistance
The report 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 calling attention to the need to develop new diagnostics, antibiotics and other tools to allow healthcare professionals to stay ahead of emerging resistance.
WHO said the report is kick-starting a global effort to address drug resistance, which will involve the development of tools and standards and improved collaboration around the world to track drug resistance, measure its health and economic impacts, and design targeted solutions.
Source: World Health Organization