WHO OKs Plan to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

World Health Organization officials endorse a global strategy to combat the spread of antibiotic resistance.

May 27, 2015
Tracy Vence

PIXABAY, STOKPICDuring their annual assembly held in Geneva this week, World Health Organization (WHO) officials green-lighted a sweeping plan to slow the spread of antibiotic resistance.

“Through adoption of the global plan, governments all committed to have in place, by May 2017, a national action plan on antimicrobial resistance that is aligned with the global action plan,” WHO noted in a May 25 statement. The international strategy involves education, surveillance, incidence reduction, treatment optimization, and investment in antimicrobial resistance research.

“Globally this is a really big issue,” Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s assistant director-general for health security, told NPR’s Goats and Soda. “We are seeing the same patterns of resistance basically occur everywhere.”

Although the WHO has strengthened its commitment to fighting antibiotic resistance, in an interview with The New York Times this week (May 25), England’s Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies said, “we may be a bit late. . . . If you look at the trajectories of rising antimicrobial resistance, increasing use of antibiotics, and a lack of new antibiotics, this could be a catastrophe.”