World Health Day 2011

by Dr. Reeja Tharu on  April 6, 2011 at 6:13 PM Health In Focus   - G J E 4
"Antimicrobial Resistance: No Action Today, No Cure Tomorrow"

World Health Day is celebrated each year on 7th April to mark the founding of World Health Organization (WHO).
 World Health Day 2011
World Health Day 2011

On this day, each year, it is customary for the WHO to identify a key health issue of global significance and kick start local, regional and international events linked to that issue, and to continue organizing these events through out the year.

This year, 2011, the World Health Day will be focusing on the issue of   antimicrobial resistance and its impact on a global level. On this day WHO plans to introduce a six-point policy package to fight the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial resistance is not a new problem; it has been around for a while but of late its consequences are more ominous than it ever was.

Before the discovery of antimicrobial drugs, such as antibiotics, humans fell easy prey to infections. The human species  has survived longer and continues to lead healthier lives only after adding antimicrobials, as arsenals, to his health kitty.

Today, due to the use and misuse of drugs, we are on the brink of a civilizational collapse as it has been increasingly revealed that more and more microorganisms are becoming resistant to antimicrobials.

What is the cause of resistance to antimicrobials or antibiotics?

Drug resistance is a natural evolutionary phenomenon in the microbial world. Certain strains of microorganism succumb to the exposed antimicrobial whereas others survive and become resistant to the antimicrobial. This resistance is passed on to  their offspring and over generations certain micro-organisms become resistance to most antimicrobials and become super-bugs .

This antimicrobial resistance, or, drug resistance occurs when bacteria, virus, fungi or parasite mutate, or change, in such a way that the medication  that are used to treat them are rendered ineffective.

Consequences of Drug Resistance

An infection caused by a super bug is treatment- resistant and is of major concern as it has the potential to easily spread or even prove fatal.

Antimicrobial resistance has been brought about by careless use of antimicrobials in human medicines, in animal husbandry and in domestic cleaning products,

 Drug resistance poses a severe threat to mankind as it has managed to make several medicines used today ineffective and has impaired any advancement made in this field of research.

Measures to Combat Drug Resistance on World Health Day 2011

Ad hoc measures are called for to curtail drug resistance and to avoid regression to pre-antibiotic era. It is only through the judicious use of drugs can man win this war against microorganisms.

On World Health Day 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) is to issue a call for action to halt the spread of antimicrobial resistance, It is introducing a six-point policy package for all countries to combat antimicrobial resistance. WHO will call on everyone which includes -

• Policy-makers and planners
• The public and patients
• Practitioners and prescribers
• Pharmacists and dispensers
• The pharmaceutical industry think, act and take responsibility for combating drug resistance.


Source: Medindia

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