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The WHO Says the World Is Running Out of Much Needed New Antibiotics

Baher Kamal - Inter Press Service
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October 9, 2017
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The World Is Running Out of Antibiotics: Report (Veuer)

Fact Sheet on Antibiotic Resistance

• Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.

• Antibiotic resistance can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.

• Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.

• A growing number of infections – such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea – are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.

• Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality.

SOURCE: World Health Organization

The world is running out of new antibiotics to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, a new specialised report warns ahead of this year’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week, adding that most of the drugs currently in the clinical pipeline are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions.

The latest World Health Organization (WHO) report on this issue “Antibacterial agents in clinical development – an analysis of the antibacterial clinical development pipeline, including tuberculosis” found very few potential treatment options for those antibiotic-resistant infections identified by the organisation as posing the “greatest threat to health,” including drug-resistant tuberculosis which kills around 250,000 people each year.

In fact, the indiscriminate, excessive use – and misuse – of synthetic products, such as anti-microbial medicines, to kill diseases in humans, agricultural and food systems, may be a major conduit of the anti-microbial resistance that causes 700,000 human deaths each year and has the potential to raise this number to up to 10 million annually.

According to the United Nations, Antibiotic Resistance (AMR) is a natural phenomenon of micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that are no longer sensitive to the effects of antimicrobial medicines, like antibiotics, that were previously effective in treating infections.

Nevertheless, commercial practices meant to increase benefits have been leading to the dramatic fact that these drugs are more and more used almost entirely to promote animal growth, the UN explains.

“Anti-microbial resistance has the potential to be even more deadly than cancer, to kill as many as 10 million people a year,” the UN warns.

Read the rest at Inter Press Service

Related: When Your Healers Become Your Killers (Inter Press Service)



IPS is an international communication institution with a global news agency at its core, raising the voices of the South and civil society on issues of development, globalisation, human rights and the environment. Check out the website at IPSNews.net


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