Thursday, April 7, 2011

World Health Day
April 7, 2011

World Health Day 2011 web buttonAntimicrobial Resistance and its Global Spread

World Health Day 2011 is dedicated to antimicrobial resistance, a major threat to patient care and disease control throughout the world. Antimicrobial resistance is a significant obstacle to success in controlling HIV, malaria and tuberculosis—three of the world's leading infectious killers. This serious problem also makes it more difficult to treat hospital-acquired infections, facilitates the emergence of "superbugs" that are resistant to major antibiotics, and creates the need for new, more expensive and more complex treatments.

For World Health Day 2011, WHO launchs a worldwide campaign to safeguard these medicines for future generations.

In recent decades, the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance has dramatically accelerated. This situation is related with the increased use of antimicrobials. An estimated half of the antimicrobials employed are used improperly. They are often prescribed to treat other health problems, which don't need antimicrobials, the treatment is not completed as indicated or the quality of the medicines is not adequate. World Health Day 2011 seeks to raise awareness of factors that contribute to antimicrobial resistance, to build commitment to common solutions across diseases, and to encourage the implementation of policies and practices that can prevent and contain antimicrobial resistance.

We live in an era of medical breakthroughs with new wonder drugs available to treat conditions that a few decades ago, or even a few years ago in the case of HIV/AIDS, would have proved fatal. Antimicrobial resistance and its global spread threaten the continued effectiveness of many medicines used today to treat the sick, while at the same time it risks jeopardizing important advances being made against major infectious killers.

Antimicrobial Resistance:
World Health Day 2011

The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Margaret Chan, in a video statement to mark World Health Day 2011 and the theme, Combat Drug Resistance, has warned that "In the absence of urgent corrective and protective actions, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era, in which many common infections will no longer have a cure and, once again, kill unabated." The video statement was released to coincide with the launch of new WHO policy package and a call for action on antimicrobial resistance. For more information visit


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