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
    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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora