193 countries sign declaration to stamp out drug-resistant infections

The 193 countries of the United Nations (UN) have signed a landmark declaration to rid the world of drug-resistant infections or Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) or superbugs.

It is the fourth time a UN declaration has been reached on a health issue, following HIV in 2001, non-communicable diseases in 2011 and Ebola in 2013.

The signatory countries now have two years to submit action plan. These submitted plans are expected to address the seriousness and scope of the situation. It will also agree on sustainable, multisectoral approaches to addressing antimicrobial resistance.

What is Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) or superbugs?

  • Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs.
  • These microorganisms are also termed as “superbugs”. As a result, the medicines or drugs become ineffective and infections persist in the body futher increasing the risk of spread to others.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) Threats

  • AMR has become one of the biggest threats to global health and endangers other major priorities, such as human development.
  • All around the world, many common infections have become resistant to antimicrobial medicines used to treat them which resulted in longer illnesses and more deaths.
  • At the same time, not enough new antimicrobial drugs especially antibiotics are being developed to replace older and increasingly ineffective ones.

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2018

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