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Sep 06, 2017 07:52 PM IST | Source: PTI

SE Asia at risk of spread of antimicrobial resistance: WHO

The WHO today voiced concern over the South-East Asia region, home to a quarter of the world's population, being at risk of emergence and spread of antimicrobial drug resistance.

The WHO today voiced concern over the South-East Asia region, home to a quarter of the world's population, being at risk of emergence and spread of antimicrobial drug resistance.

Several antibiotics are ineffective against common infections, resulting in prolonged, more severe infections, and deaths, according to a special edition on antimicrobial resistance published by the BMJ, a leading international medical journal, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Regional Director of WHO-SEARO, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, highlighted multiple reasons including poor prescription practices, irrational use of antibiotics in livestock, and an overall lack of awareness having led to the present situation.

"It is a critical situation requiring urgent action from the remarkable nations of the region," Dr Kamran Abbasi, executive editor of the BMJ, said.

A 'One Health' approach is needed in which health, veterinary and agricultural sectors work together to address the issue, Singh said.

The collection brings forth examples from Thailand, Indonesia, and India in developing national action plans to combat antimicrobial resistance.

New ways to analyse the magnitude of antimicrobial resistance in each country and mechanisms for better surveillance using information technology are proposed.

"We hope that this collection of articles will inform national and regional responses to antimicrobial resistance and improve the health of people," Abbasi said.

The initiative is expected to bring together policy makers and governments to commit to urgent actions on this front, and invest in research for new antimicrobials and containment strategies.

The collection will be launched at the 70th WHO regional meeting in Maldives and followed by a meeting with key stakeholders in Delhi, India at the end of September.

tags #Health #WHO

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