The "Superbugs"

16 Mar.2016

 And how regional cooperation has global impact!

The “superbugs” are strains of bacteria resistant to several types of antibiotics. In some instances these are not only infections but also organisms.

Highly deadly bugs

According to an estimate for 2013 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only in the United States 2 million people per year develop antimicrobial resistance infections. From these at least 23 000 die every year. If we translate this into direct and indirect costs, this is equal to 50 billion US dollars just for one country.

Other direct effects on the health systems are the fact that in countries such as Ghana, hospitals are forced to close down because they cannot get rid of the resistance and this poses even bigger threats on anyone that is admitted.

Even though the antibiotic resistance is constantly growing, there aren’t sufficient new drugs in the pipeline to fight the spread. The development of new antibiotics has been unattractive to many pharmaceutical companies and this results in having not enough new antibiotics in development. What that calls for is sustainable development of new medicines and their distribution done in a way that minimizes the chances of resistance.

WHO special representative for antimicrobial resistance to the NRI-Conference

This year’s theme of the NRI-Conference is devoted to the role of the patient in the healthcare sector. By focusing on the patient the medicine can become more personalized and tailored to the needs of the individual person and his/ her maximized involved.

An important guest is Keiji Fukuda, Special Representative for Antimicrobial Resistance in the office of the Director-General at the World Health Organization (WHO).

In recent years Dr. Fukuda has helped shaped the global approach to pandemic preparedness. During the NRI-Conference Dr. Fukuda aims to bring everyone’s attention the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. This problem needs to be tackled from all angles: health, research and development, agricultural, etc. What this translates to is the involvement and cooperation of policymakers, health workers, the general public and those in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Dr. Fukuda believes the threat from antibiotic resistance poses to the usage of modern medicine is severe:

“The development of antibiotics has been one of the fundamental and major steps forward in medicine and science in the past century. We rely on them to treat infections directly. Indirectly, we rely on antibiotics to provide a safety net for people who are admitted to hospital, for people undergoing surgery, people who have undergone trauma, people who have chronic diseases such as cancer or diabetes, and those who are susceptible to infections. The development of antimicrobial resistance threatens the gains we have made in treating all those people.” 

Keiji FukudaThe Pharmaceutical Journal, 25. Nov. 2015

Dr. Keiji Fukuda is the special representative for antimicrobial resistance at WHO.


Informative animation video of the superbugs

Press the picture below to view the global threat of superbugs, explained in just six minutes in animation made by the German Information Design company Kurzgesagt.




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