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WHO urges countries to take measures to combat antimicrobial resistance

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  • WHO urges countries to take measures to combat antimicrobial resistance

    Excerpt from newsrelease

    WHO urges countries to take measures to combat antimicrobial resistance

    Be alert to antimicrobial resistance

    20 AUGUST 2010 | GENEVA -- Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - the ability of micro-organisms to find ways to evade the action of the drugs used to cure the infections they cause - is increasingly recognised as a global public health issue which could hamper the control of many infectious diseases.

    Some bacteria have developed mechanisms which render them resistant to many of the antibiotics normally used for their treatment (multi-drug resistant bacteria), so pose particular difficulties, as there may be few or no alternative options for therapy. They constitute a growing and global public health problem.

    WHO suggests that countries should be prepared to implement hospital infection control measures to limit the spread of multi-drug resistant strains and to reinforce national policy on prudent use of antibiotics, reducing the generation of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

    An article published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases on 11 August 2010 identified a new gene that enables some types of bacteria to be highly resistant to almost all antibiotics.

    The article has drawn attention to the issue of AMR, and, in particular, has raised awareness of infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria.

    - snip -

    WHO strongly recommends that governments focus control and prevention efforts in four main areas:

    - surveillance for antimicrobial resistance;

    - rational antibiotic use, including education of healthcare workers and the public in the appropriate use of antibiotics;

    - introducing or enforcing legislation related to stopping the selling of antibiotics without prescription; and

    - strict adherence to infection prevention and control measures, including the use of hand-washing measures, particularly in healthcare facilities.

    full news release
    ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
    Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

    ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~