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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid