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Saturday, April 9, 2011

World Health Day focuses on challenges of drug resistance

By PMA RASHEED 
7 April 2011, The Gulf Today 

As drug resistance has become more severe, many infections are no longer easily cured and the condition leads to prolonged and expensive treatment and even greater risk of death, warned World Health Organisation (WHO) on the occasion of the World Health Day on Thursday.
The World Health Day is observed to coincide with the date of the WHO’s establishment.
The WHO on Wednesday has issued a policy package to get everyone, especially governments and their drug regulatory systems, on the right track, with the right measures, quickly.
The health authorities in the UAE have also raised concerns over the issue of resistance of microbes to anti- drugs and the misuse of drugs.
The UAE Ministry of Health (MoH) will observe the day in solidarity with the international communities and organisations.
The WHO, under the theme “Combat Drug Resistance,” called for urgent and concerted action by governments, health professionals, industry and civil society and patients to slow down the spread of drug resistance.
A spokesperson of the MoH said the activities in the UAE focuses on the ways of preserving the valuable wealth of drugs in order to benefit the future generations, with the theme “No action today, no cure tomorrow.”
“The activities in the UAE will highlight WHO’s role in creating awareness in the community in rationalising the use of drugs and anti viruses,” he added.
Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ajman His Highness Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi will open the World Health Day celebrations in Ajman. The minister of health Dr Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim will deliver a keynote speech on the issue of drugs and disease resistance.
Salah Amiri, Assistant Director General of the Environment and Public Health Services at the DM, said, “Antimicrobial Resistance” is the theme of world health day activities at Dubai Municipality’s (DM) public health services department.
“The civic body’s health awareness activities focused on the need for the correct use of medicines, and the need to work together for the conservation of these medicines for the future generation,” he added.
Zohoor Hussein Sabbagh, Director of Public Health Services Department at the DM, said “Antimicrobial resistance on the global level threatens continued survival of many of the drugs currently used to treat patients, as well as important achievements in the fight against major infectious diseases.”
“We need to work with all our energies on promoting health awareness in all health, environmental occasions for entire categories of public employees, students, associations, clubs, libraries, centres and others around Dubai,” he added.
According to WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, the world is on the brink of losing these miracle cures. 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.
“At a time of multiple calamities in the world, we cannot allow the loss of essential medicines and essential cures for many millions of people,” she added.

“The recommended policy steps included developing and implementing a comprehensive, financed national plan, strengthening surveillance and laboratory capacity, ensuring uninterrupted access to essential medicines of assured quality, regulating and promoting rational use of medicines, enhancing infection prevention and control and fostering innovation and research and development for new tools,” Chan elaborated.

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