The Threat of Superbugs Looming Large On The World

UN-backed panel in its report

The Threat of Superbugs Looming Large On The World

A UN-backed panel in its report has stated that 10 million people will be killed by superbugs by 2050.

In Detail:

  • The report presented to the UN by the Inter-Agency Coordination Group (IACG) has noted that over 10 million people will get killed by 2050 if antimicrobial resistance is not contained.
  • IACG is an expert committee set up by the United Nations.
  • The experts are from different countries.
  • The Group has Director of World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN Deputy Secretary as its heads among others.
  • The Group has noted that there is an alarming level of microbial resistance from regions across the world and across all income levels.
  • Due to this, even common diseases are becoming difficult to treat and life-saving treatments are becoming riskier to perform.
  • Drug-resistance is killing 7,00,000 people globally every year. This includes 2,30,000 from multi-drug resistance tuberculosis.
  • As per the report, 2.5 million people could die between 2015 and 2050 in higher income countries.
  • The threat is being exacerbated by overuse of over the counter antibiotics.
  • The report notes that the economic loss due to this could be related to the financial crisis of 2008-09.

First Step:

  • The report advocates implementing national antimicrobial resistance action plans as the first step in fighting the menace.
  • It notes that financial and capacity constraints of many resource-poor countries must be addressed first.
  • IACG called all its members to phase out antimicrobials.
  • A ‘One Health Global Leadership Group on Antimicrobial Resistance’ with a joint secretariat from WHO, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health, or OIE was recommended by the Group.
  • It called for an immediate stop of using antimicrobials as growth promoters.
  • It advocated for the governments to strengthen infection prevention in health-care facilities and farms; give a boost to surveillance; develop regulatory frameworks; promote professional education and oversight of antimicrobial prescription and use among others.
  • As additional efforts, it wants the world nations to invest in innovation for antimicrobial medicines, vaccines, waste management, diagnostics, etc

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Conclusion:

  • Antimicrobial resistance is fast becoming a healthcare threat across the world.
  • The existing powerful antibiotics are infective because of the resistance.
  • The research in the field of antibiotics is not yielding desired results.

Before a major scare occurs, the world nations have to take up the steps recommended by IACG in its report.

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