With the release of a new report titled Worldwide situation country analysis: Response to Antimicrobial Resistance, the United Nations agency revealed that only about a quarter of 133 states in the spotlight have set in place national plans to combat resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines.
The issue at stake is that in all six regions of the world, a large percentage of the population is misusing antibiotics, which leads to drug resistance in the case of such conditions like pneumonia, tuberculosis, malaria or HIV. Eventually, it is about allowing treatable diseases to become lethal.
In dealing with this situation, all six regions where the study was conducted showed significant gaps in taking action in a situation that was described as a post-antibiotic era in which people can die from common infections. Known, treatable and curable common infections.
Keiji Fukada of the World Health Organization stated that:
“All types of microbes, including many viruses and parasites are becoming resistant to medicines, particularly bacteria that are progressively less treatable by available antibiotics. This is happening in all parts of the world, so all countries must do their part to tackle this global threat.”
The main concerns voiced in the report published by WHO are the low number of countries that have a national plan to combat the misuse of drugs, the widespread sales of antibiotics or other antimicrobial drugs without prescription, or the even more widespread occurrence of counterfeit and low-quality drugs. These pose the threat of being overused and abused by both patients and doctors.
Other issues brought forward by the report are low public awareness in all world regions and the widespread belief that any viral infection can be treated with antibiotics, as well as the lack of sufficiently developed national monitoring programs or of programs that could control and prevent infections coming from a hospitalized environment.
In light of these findings, WHO officials emphasized the need for more coherent, globally, regionally and nationally coordinated efforts for spreading the results of the study and for combating the resistance to microbes caused by improper drug use.
In this respect, the WHO developed a Global Action Plan that will be submitted to the attention of the World Health Assembly which takes place in May 2015. It is hoped that participant governments will approve the plan and reiterate their commitment to address global health.
Image Source: www.who.int