Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Antimicrobial Resistance

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Antimicrobial Resistance

Article excerpt

Only 34 of 133 countries that responded to a WHO survey in 2013-2014 said they had comprehensive national plans to fight resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines and even fewer already have systems in place to combat the problem.

The survey findings are presented in a new report entitled Worldwide country situation analysis: response to antimicrobial resistance that was released on 29 April.

It is the first WHO survey of governments' own assessments of their response to resistance to antimicrobial medicines that are used to treat conditions such as bloodstream infections, pneumonia, tuberculosis, malaria and HIV infection.

Poor laboratory capacity as well as weak infrastructure and data management are barriers to effective surveillance systems capable of detecting antimicrobial resistance, identifying trends and monitoring for outbreaks, the report found.

Antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines are sold without prescription in many countries. Many countries also lack standard treatment guidelines, increasing the potential for overuse of antimicrobial medicines by the public and medical professionals, it said.

The report found that public awareness of the issue was low in all six WHO regions and that many people still believe antibiotics can cure viral infections, such as the common cold, despite public information campaigns. …

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