UN set to fight greatest threat to modern medicine

All 193 member states of the UN have agreed to ink a declaration to fight anti-biotic resistance which is the greatest threat to modern medicine.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Potentially deadly multidrug-resistant strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa can infect hospital patients through ventilators and other devices.

In a major development, members of the UN have agreed to ink a declaration to fight anti-biotic resistance which is the greatest threat to modern medicine, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

All 193 member states gave their nod to the initiative during a high-level meeting on antibiotic resistance on Wednesday.

The decision came before a meeting of the UN general assembly to review the threat posed by the antibiotic resistance.

According to an estimate, the antibiotic-resistant infections kill more than 700,000 people each year, the Guardian reported, adding, the number could be greater given the lack of global system to keep track of such deaths.

“It’s ironic that such a small thing is causing such an enormous public threat …. but it is a global health threat that needs a global response,” the Guardian quoted Jeffrey LeJeune, a professor at Ohio State University, as saying.

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria is pictured in this medical illustration provided by the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Under the agreement, groups including UN agencies will in two years present to the UN secretary general their progresses in connection with the battle against the drug-resistant bugs.

The subject is only the fourth health issue that has become the focus of the general assembly’s high-level meeting.

Earlier, the three health issues that were taken up at this level were: HIV/Aids, Ebola and non-communicable diseases.

Scientists had cautioned decades ago about the risks posed by antibiotic resistance.

The warnings had come at a time when the industrial production of medicine went underway.

Health experts termed the threat as very serious as hundreds of thousands become prey to antibiotic resistance each year.

“We need governments, the pharmaceutical industry, health professionals and the agricultural sector to follow through on their commitments to save modern medicine,” UK’s chief medical officer, Sally Davies was quoted as saying.

TRTWorld and agencies