WHO Lists 12 Deadly Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the Urgent Need for New Drugs

 

There are all sorts of diseases in the world, and every once in a while comes a certain ‘microorganism’ which creates havoc in the form of dangerous diseases like Ebola, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, and the like. Scientists have time and again come up with effective antibiotics to control the diseases and save lives, but the shocking part is that each year these microbes come back twice as more potent and resistant to the antibiotics. As such it is a constant struggle to reinvent and find effective cures. In such cases, intensive research is the only thing that can save lives as scientists discover more characteristics and behaviour of the triggers.

Recently, WHO published the first-ever list of antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogens” that included 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health. The intention was to spread awareness, as well as guide and promote research and development of new antibiotics. There is a serious concern on the growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines.
(How Antibiotics May Make You More Prone to Infections)WHO Lists 12 Deadly Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the Urgent Need for New Drugs

What Did the List Include?

According to the global health body, the list is divided into three categories according to the urgency of need for new antibiotics: critical, high and medium priority.

“The most critical group of all includes multi-drug resistant bacteria that pose a particular threat in hospitals, nursing homes, and among patients whose care requires devices such as ventilators and blood catheters. They include Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and various Enterobacteriaceae (including Klebsiella, E. coli, Serratia, and Proteus),” said a WHO statement.

It said that all the bacteria can cause severe and often deadly infections such as bloodstream infections and pneumonia.

“These bacteria have become resistant to a large number of antibiotics, including carbapenems and third generation cephalosporins – the best available antibiotics for treating multi-drug resistant bacteria,” said the report.
(Rare Disease Day: 7 Most Rare Diseases in the World and the Importance of Research)

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High- Medium Priority Type

The second tier includes antibiotics of high priority – for Enterococcus faecium, which is vancomycin-resistant; Staphylococcus aureus, which is methicillin-resistant; Helicobacter pylori, which is clarithromycin-resistant; Campylobacter spp, which is fluoroquinolone-resistant; Salmonellae, which is fluoroquinolone-resistant; and Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which is cephalosporin and fluoroquinolone-resistant.

The third tier includes medium priority antibiotics for Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is penicillin-non-susceptible; Haemophilus influenzae, which is ampicillin-resistant; and Shigella spp, which is fluoroquinolone-resistant.

“This list is a new tool to ensure research and development responds to urgent public health needs,” said WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation Marie-Paule Kieny in the statement.

Evelina Tacconelli, Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Tubingen and a major contributor to the list, said, “New antibiotics targeting this priority list of pathogens will help to reduce deaths due to resistant infections around the world.

“Waiting any longer will cause further public health problems and dramatically impact on patient care.”

gut bacteria

 

Without urgent investment in education, Iraq’s future generations risk being left behind

 

BAGHDAD 21 May, 2017 – The future of Iraq, its economic security and prosperity depends on increasing investment in education today.

And while the price of investing in Iraq’s education sector is high, failing to do so will cost the nation far more in the future.

“The Cost and Benefits of Education in Iraq” a UNICEF-supported report released today by the Ministry of Education estimates that Iraq lost almost US$1 billion in unrealized wages from school dropouts from the 2014-2015 school year.

Lack of investment threatens the future of millions of Iraqi children. 3.5 million school-aged Iraqi children are missing out on education, which means they are at increased risk of early marriage, child labour and recruitment into armed groups.

Half of all school buildings in Iraq need urgent repairs. Children are dropping out of school while others are repeating grades.

“Children in Iraq are suffering from protracted periods of conflict. Without equitable access to quality education, children are at risk: we are talking about losing a generation of children.” said UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere.

“Investing in education is meeting a fundamental human right for every boy and girl, and is essential for a country’s development and is the best possible medicine against extremism.”

An accompanying UNICEF-supported report on “Child Poverty in Iraq” shows that one in five poor children who dropped out before completing primary school did so for economic reasons.

Ongoing conflict and displacement in Iraq has hit children the hardest. Poverty affects almost 40 per cent of displaced families. Nearly half of internally displaced children in Iraq are out of school. In areas heavily affected by violence, more than 90% of children are not in school.

“All of Iraq’s children should have the resources they need to fulfil their educational potential, whether that means new classrooms, accelerated learning programmes, motivated teachers or school materials,” said Cappelaere.

For 2017, UNICEF has appealed for US$32 million for its programmes to support education in Iraq and has received only half of its required funding.

Notes to editors:

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About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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For more information contact:
Sharon Behn, UNICEF Iraq, +964-782-782-0238, snogueira@unicef.org
Tamara Kummer, UNICEF Regional Office, +962 797 588 550, tkummer@unicef.org