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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Secret Service Head to be Questioned Over White House Intruder

Julia Pierson will be questioned about the latest break-in well as several other embarrassing incidents involving the agency 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid