(Reuters) – Only 34 countries have national plans to fight the global threat of antibiotic resistance, meaning few are prepared to tackle “superbug” infections which put even basic healthcare at risk, the WHO said on Wednesday.
In a survey of government plans to tackle the issue, the World Health Organization said only a quarter of the 133 countries that responded were addressing the problem.
“This is the single greatest challenge in infectious diseases today,” said Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security. “All types of microbes, including many viruses and parasites, are becoming resistant.”
“This is happening in all parts of the world, so all countries must do their part to tackle this global threat.”
Antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics and antivirals are used to treat conditions such as bloodstream infections, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and HIV.