Sunday February 24, 2019

WHO looks for reasons behind declining efficacy of antibiotics

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) showed concerns and urged to find measures against diminishing efficacy of antibiotics. This efficacy makes bacterial infections such as skin sores and diarrhoea fatal and untreatable.

“Now is the time to turn pledges into action, stake out a clear roadmap and take action to prevent further erosion of our health security. The effectiveness of existing antibiotics is extremely valuable, and we must do all we can to preserve it,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for WHO South-East Asia.

According to the WHO, when an antibiotic is used, bacteria that can resist that antibiotic have a greater chance of survival than those that are susceptible.

When antibiotics are used inappropriately — such as when they are taken needlessly, too regularly or when an incomplete course is taken — bacterial infections become immune to them, Khetrapal Singh said at a three-day international meeting on ‘Combating Antimicrobial Resistance: Public Health Challenge and Priority’, here.

Globally 700,000 people die every year as a result of once-treatable health conditions.

Khetrapal Singh urged the South Asian countries to stop the easy availability of antibiotics.

“Governments must take strong measures to stop the over-the-counter availability of antibiotics while strengthening and enforcing legislation to prevent the manufacture, sale and distribution of substandard antibiotics,” said Khetrapal Singh.

In 2011, Health Ministers of all countries in the South Asian region adopted the Jaipur Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance, which calls for national action plan to combat the problem.(IANS)

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Pregnant Women To Be Vaccinated Against The Deadly Ebola Virus

Ring vaccination is a strategy that prevents the spread of the disease by vaccinating only those likely to be infected with the virus.

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Ring vaccination is a strategy that prevents the spread of the disease by vaccinating only those likely to be infected with the virus. VOA

An independent advisory body convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends pregnant women and breastfeeding women in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo be vaccinated against the deadly Ebola virus. Latest WHO figures put the number of Ebola cases in the DRC at 853, including 521 deaths since the beginning of the outbreak in August.

More than 80,000 people so far have been vaccinated against Ebola in the African country’s conflict-ridden North Kivu and Ituri provinces during the current outbreak. The vaccine is still in its experimental stage. But since 2015 it has been given to thousands of people in Africa, Europe and the United States.

The studies of the efficacy of the vaccine are not conclusive. However, they indicate the serum is safe and protects people against Ebola. On the basis of accumulated evidence, the group of immunization experts recommends continued ring vaccination for Ebola in DRC.

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The WHO says all vaccinated pregnant women will be closely monitored until the birth of their babies to see if there are any adverse effects. Pixabay

Ring vaccination is a strategy that prevents the spread of the disease by vaccinating only those likely to be infected with the virus. WHO spokesman, Tarek Jasarevic says the experts advise pregnant women at high risk of infection and death from Ebola should be given the vaccination.

“So, this aim, this vaccinating of women would protect them, provide them with more protection. But we also know that if we use this ring vaccination that women who are in the community that is vaccinated then have a low risk. So, it is really between risk and benefits and we hope that the use of the vaccine in pregnant women will generate some data for the future,” Jasarevic said.

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On the basis of accumulated evidence, the group of immunization experts recommends continued ring vaccination for Ebola in DRC. Pixabay

The group of experts advise the vaccine be given to pregnant women in their second or third trimester as well as to breastfeeding women and babies under one year old.

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The experts also recommend that one or more of three other new experimental Ebola vaccines be tested in areas neighboring the affected regions. They say pregnant and breastfeeding women should be included in these trials.

The WHO says all vaccinated pregnant women will be closely monitored until the birth of their babies to see if there are any adverse effects. (VOA)