News / Health

WHO: Urgent Action Needed to Stop Drug Resistance

WHO: Urgent Action Needed to Stop Drug Resistance
WHO: Urgent Action Needed to Stop Drug Resistance
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein

The World Health Organization warns hundreds of thousands of people are dying every year because of growing drug resistance to life-threatening diseases.  To mark World Health Day, April 7, the U.N. agency is calling for urgent action to slow down the spread of drug resistance.  

Before Alexander Fleming invented penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic, in 1928, countless numbers of people died of simple wounds and infections.  For instance 18 percent of American soldiers died of pneumonia in World War I.   But in WWII, after the discovery of penicillin, only one percent died of the disease.  

The World Health Organization warns the world is on the brink of losing these miracle cures.  WHO Stop TB Department director Mario Raviglione calls drug resistance a global threat.

“It kills hundreds of thousands of people every year," said Raviglione. "Number two, it challenges greatly care and control of infectious diseases that in the past were curable.  For some of them, we are in the ... pre-antibiotic era.  We are back to the 1930s or 40s.”  

The discovery and use of antimicrobial drugs to treat diseases such as leprosy, tuberculosis, gonorrhea and syphilis changed the course of medical and human history.  But now their effectiveness is under threat, because of the under-use, overuse or misuse of drugs, which causes resistance to grow.  

The treatment of tuberculosis, malaria, HIV, pneumonia, and other killer infectious diseases is at risk as drug resistance rises.   WHO Assistant Director General Keiji Fukuda says the evolution and spread of drug resistance is of great concern.

“The bottom line is that the problem is outpacing the solutions," Fukuda. "That is what we are seeing right now.  Some of the issues are very clear I think.  The first one is that there is no single silver bullet solution to address this kind of threat.  There is no single action, which is going to take care of the problem.  There is no single action, which can reduce the issue.  As long as people rely upon antibiotics and anti-microbial medicines, their use is going to foster the development of resistance.”  

The World Health Organization has a six-point action plan to safeguard drug treatments.  It urges a strengthening of surveillance and monitoring systems to detect the emergence of drug-resistance.  It recommends the rational use of medicines, measures to prevent and control the transmission of infections and the research and development of new vaccines and medicines to treat infectious diseases.  

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid