The report reveals that this serious threat is no longer a prediction for the future; it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country. Antibiotic resistance–when bacteria change so antibiotics are no longer effective in people who need them to treat infections–is now a major threat to public health.
The report also indicates that the key tools needed to tackle antibiotic resistance–such as basic systems to track and monitor the problem–show gaps or do not exist in many countries. While some countries have taken important steps to address the problem, every country and individual needs to increase their efforts.
Other important actions include preventing infections from happening in the first place to reduce the need for antibiotics. This can be accomplished through better hygiene, access to clean water, infection control in health-care facilities, and vaccination. WHO is also calling attention to the need for new diagnostics, antibiotics and other tools, which will allow healthcare professionals to stay ahead of emerging resistance.
This report has initiated a global effort led by WHO to address drug resistance and its global impact. This will involve the development of tools and standards as well as improved collaboration around the world to track drug resistance, measure its health and economic impacts, and design targeted solutions.
To view the report please visit http://www.who.int/drugresistance/documents/surveillancereport/en/