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Health: WHO says antibiotics for common diseases no longer effective

Source: Standard Digital

By GATONYE GATHURA

Many drugs in the local health sector, even for most common diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea, are no longer working, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Based on data provided by the Government, other health networks and some 113 member countries, WHO says we have come to the end of working antibiotics for previously simple to treat diseases.

The organisation says half of patients with some types of pneumonia, the second killer-disease in Kenya, are not getting cured because commonly available medicines are no longer effective.

But even more worrying, some private hospitals in Nairobi say common medicines for treating childhood diarrhoea are only effective in 13 out of 100 patients.

Only half of patients who get infected by a common hospital acquired bacteria that is life threatening to newborns and intensive-care unit patients is currently responding to the last line medication.

Medical crisis

In the first global report on antibiotics resistance released on Wednesday, covering 114 countries including Kenya, WHO says the world is facing a medical crisis never seen before.

“A post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can kill – far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is an unfolding reality,” said Dr Keiji Fukuda of WHO while releasing the report.

?The organisation says what is evolving is worse than Aids since it will mean more deaths from simple cuts, grazes, diarrhea and even flu because common drugs have lost the power to fight these minor infections.

In Kenya, for example, the report shows the bacterium Anti-retroviral-drugs-009 , which causes diarrhoea, kidney failure and anemia, is hardly treatable with the common class of drugs called cephalosporins. Now physicians are forced to use a more expensive class of medicines – carbapenems – which are not available in most local hospitals. The drugs are the last line of defense.

“Of great concern is the fact that some types of pneumonia have developed resistance to this last resort medicine, which means these patients are most likely going die,” says WHO.

Read More: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/health/article/2000110844/who-says-antibiotics-for-common-diseases-no-longer-effective?pageNo=2

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