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Antimicrobial Resistance is a Global Health Threat According to WHO

Antimicrobial Resistance is a Global Health Threat According to WHO – Antimicrobial Resistance is a Global Health Threat According to WHO. Antimicrobial resistance is not a trivial problem because it is a global public health threat. If it is not treated immediately, it increases the risk of death because of the reduced choice of antimicrobials that can cure the disease.

The problem of antimicrobial resistance arises due to the excessive use of antimicrobials. Not only in humans, but also in animals, especially those used for food production and in the environment, contribute to accelerating the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance.

As an important and urgent issue, the World Health Organization (WHO) is working with various sectors to address antimicrobial resistance by increasing awareness and knowledge, reducing infections, and encouraging the careful use of antimicrobials.

1. WHO calls antimicrobial resistance a global public health threat

The development of antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials is the greatest success of modern medicine. These various antimicrobials can prevent and treat infections in humans, animals and plants.

However, the ability of these drugs to treat the disease is decreasing. WHO declared antimicrobial resistance as one of the top 10 global public health threats.

2. Antimicrobial resistance is spreading worldwide

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that the movement of people, animals and goods makes it easier for antimicrobial resistance to spread from one region to another in the world. This phenomenon has been found all over the world, including in Indonesia.

As explained by the Chairman of the Antimicrobial Resistance Control Committee (KPRA) of the Indonesian Ministry of Health, dr. Anis Karuniawati, PhD, SpMK(K), there is an increase in the prevalence of antibiotic drug-resistant bacteria every year which causes infections, especially severe infections such as pneumonia and sepsis, citing a WHO explanation. Indonesia is estimated to be among the five countries with the highest level of antimicrobial consumption in 2030. Duh!

3. Why is antimicrobial resistance a global health threat?

Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi to resist antimicrobial treatment. On the other hand, there is very little discovery or development of new drugs. The emergence and spread of drug-resistant pathogens threatens humanity’s ability to treat common infections.

Microorganisms that are increasingly resistant to drugs are pushing humans back to a time when infectious diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis (TB), gonorrhea and salmonellosis could not be treated. The inability to treat infectious diseases also jeopardizes operations and procedures, such as chemotherapy.

4. Antimicrobial resistance makes disease more severe and difficult to treat

Antimicrobial resistance makes infections more difficult to treat, increases the risk of spreading the disease, and thus increases the risk of death. One infection that is increasingly difficult to treat due to antimicrobial resistance is tuberculosis.

Antibiotic-resistant strains of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria threaten progress in controlling the global tuberculosis (TB) epidemic. WHO estimates that around half a million new cases of rifampicin-resistant TB in 2018. Most of these cases are resistant to the two most powerful TB drugs.

In comparison, the treatment of drug-resistant TB is more difficult than the treatment of drug-sensitive TB. As explained on the Indonesian TB page, drug-resistant TB can indeed be cured, but it takes longer time, it can reach 18 to 24 months!

In addition to the longer time, the costs incurred during treatment are also more expensive, treatment is more difficult, and drug side effects are also more severe.

5. Antimicrobial resistance also threatens food security

Antimicrobial resistance threatens health care to life expectancy. In addition, the CDC also states that antimicrobial resistance also has an impact on food production. The same thing was explained by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), that antimicrobial resistance increases disease and death in humans, animals and plants.

For example, in agriculture, antimicrobial resistance causes production losses that endanger food security. In addition, antimicrobial resistance can transfer between humans, animals and different environments allowing drug-resistant microbes to contaminate the food chain. Therefore, the problem of antimicrobial resistance is also a cross-sector problem.

WHO declared antimicrobial resistance as a global public health threat. Drug-resistant pathogens threaten humans in treating common infections and endanger surgery to chemotherapy. Apart from making disease more severe and difficult to treat, antimicrobial resistance can also threaten food security.

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