Thursday, March 08, 2012

WHO: The Evolving Threat Of Antimicrobial Resistance



# 6207



The World Health Organization has today published a 120-page guide designed to raise awareness on what may well be public health’s biggest challenge over the next couple of decades; the growing threat of antibiotic resistant organisms.



Publication details

Number of pages: 120
Publication date: 2012
Languages: English
ISBN: 978 92 4 1503181


Antibiotic resistance development is a natural process of adaption leading to a limited lifespan of antibiotics. Unnecessary and inappropriate use of antibiotics favours the emergence and spread of resistant bacteria. A crisis has been building up over decades, so that today common and life-threatening infections are becoming difficult or even impossible to treat. It is time to take much stronger action worldwide to avert an ever increasing health and economic burden. A new WHO publication "The evolving threat of antimicrobial resistance - Options for action" describes examples of policy activities that have addressed AMR in different parts of the world. The aim is to raise awareness and to stimulate further coordinated efforts.


While I’ve only briefly skimmed this publication, it appears to be a pretty good introduction and overview of the problem, and contains a good deal of data gathered from around the world.


Last year, you may recall, the the theme of World Health Day was combating drug resistance.


World Health Day – 7 April 2011
Antimicrobial resistance: no action today, no cure tomorrow

Arrow hits the bulls-eye of a target with slogan: Combat drug resistance - no action today, no cure tomorrow


While we often hear of potential threats to our health that – quite frankly – are rare and unlikely, antimicrobial resistance is neither.


It already has a major impact on our health care system, and that impact is growing by the day.


We literally risk losing our front line drugs against a variety of aggressive and deadly pathogens.


Unless we face the problem now, and change our cavalier attitude on the use of antibiotics, we face a future where effective lifesaving antibiotics may be increasingly difficult to find.