Drug resistance

Draft global action plan on antimicrobial resistance

Dr Azharul Islam Khan, microbiologist from ICDDR,B, laboratory scientist Musu Abu and Sierra Leone's only parasitologist Dr Abdul Kamara  observe the yellow bloom of cholera bacteria, grown from a sample taken from a patient in Freetown.
WHO/Felicity Thompson

At the Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly in May 2014, the World Health Organization was requested to develop a draft global action plan to combat antimicrobial resistance, to be submitted to the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly in May 2015.

Global report on surveillance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. A post-antibiotic era – in which common infections and minor injuries can kill – far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st Century. This WHO report, produced in collaboration with Member States and other partners, provides for the first time, as accurate a picture as is presently possible of the magnitude of AMR and the current state of surveillance globally.

The dangers of hubris on human health

8 August 2013 -- The video "The dangers of hubris on human health - the rapid emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance" is about the global heath security emergency that is arising due to emergence of microorganisms that are no longer treatable because of their resistance to virtually all available antimicrobial treatment options. The interview of Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO Assistant Director-General, was produced in relation to the release of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2013, in which one of the case studies addressed antimicrobial resistance as a global risk.

About antimicrobial resistance

Influenza illustration, Nepal.
WHO /Tom Pietrasik

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of microorganisms that cause disease to withstand attack by antimicrobial medicines. From drugs used to treat common bacterial infections, to the complex combinations now fighting HIV infection, resistance is increasingly being detected and is spreading rapidly. In some parts of the world, once powerful medicines against malaria and tuberculosis have now become virtually useless. AMR is rapidly becoming a major public health risk and is threatening to undo decades of advances in our ability to treat disease. It is challenging our whole understanding of how we control communicable disease.

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