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The Consumer

Antibiotic resistance is becoming a serious concern

/ 03:00 AM May 25, 2016

Health authorities in Asia-Pacific, including the Philippines, have underscored the need to raise awareness across all sectors on responsible use of antibiotics.

The Asia-Pacific population, the health officials agreed, was at higher risk from emerging drug-resistant infections, like multidrug-resistant strains of malaria and tuberculosis, because of rapid economic development and socio-demographic and cultural changes, plus current health status.

Dr. Shin Young-soo, World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for the Western Pacific, said, “Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to human health today.” He said WHO was supporting efforts to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

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“Antimicrobial resistance is a threat to global security and economic stability. It is a looming health and economic crisis that requires both global and local solutions,” said Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO regional director for Southeast Asia.

WHO called for urgent collaboration “to slow down antimicrobial resistance and avoid a post-antibiotic era—in which minor wounds and injuries could be life-threatening, and treatments longer and more costly, causing economic hardships to families, societies and countries.”

The World Health Assembly in 2015 endorsed a Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance.

In a communique after the recent Tokyo Meeting of Health Ministers on Antimicrobial Resistance in Japan, health ministers from 12 countries pledged to take a multisectoral approach, with effective governance mechanisms, to combat antimicrobial resistance.

The health officials agreed to improve collection and sharing of information on antimicrobial resistance to guide effective policies and actions; to strengthen and harmonize regulation of production, sale and use of antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines; and to take innovative approaches to stimulate research and development of new antibiotics, diagnostic tests, vaccines and other technologies.

The meeting was organized by the government of Japan and WHO, in collaboration with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health.

It was attended by health ministers or senior officials from Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Vietnam; WHO representatives and other partner organizations.

 

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Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail lbolido@inquirer.com.ph

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TAGS: antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, Asia-Pacific, Asia-Pacific Population, Awareness, Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Dr. Shin Young-soo, Health Authorities, World Health Organization
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