New Rules on Antibiotic Resistance by WHO


  • The World Health Organization (WHO) decides to restrain the use of antibiotics resistance.
  • WHO has divided the drugs into three categories i.e., access, watch and reserve.
  • The saturation is on the basis of common ailments and complicated diseases.
  • The division of the antibiotic is as follows:
  • Access: For commonly used antibiotics
  • Watch: For slightly more potent
  • Reserve: For crucial stage
  • One of the major guidelines of WHO is the availability of a first-line ‘access’ group of antibiotics at all times.

Reason of the initiative

  • Even with the best medical flexibilities, the practice of antibiotics won’t get away, so the key is how to slow the problem down.
  • Retrospectively, Alexander Fleming, who discovered the first antibiotic, himself, foresaw the danger of relying too much on them.
  • Amy Beth Kressel, Sidney, Lois Eskenazi Hospital, is of the opinion that antibiotics are mostly harmless. But for the more we use antibiotics, the more the bacteria are finding ways to resist.
  • Kressel also adds that bacteria like to share and have various mechanisms to share resistance genes, so they can swap genes.
  • So by using antibiotics we have increased the prevalence of resistance.
  • The recent study of The Indian Council of Medical Research found out that the resistance to antibiotics was found in 50% of patients.
  • A large number of infants were dying due to infections that did not respond to treatment.
  • Drug-resistant microbes pose a serious threat today to treat, among other things, pneumonia, infection of blood and surgical sites, and meningitis.
  • India has severe uneven hemlines in the delivery of health care: rural vs. urban and poor vs. affluent patients, common vs. life threatening diseases, to name a few.
  • As per the statistics of Centers for Disease Control at least 23,000 people in the United States die each year due to infections that are resistant to antibiotic treatments.

Factors governing the usage

  • Within the realm of medical practice, the prescription of antibiotics is often guided by such factors as patient demand, competing alternative treatment systems, and even financial incentives which make the usage and misuse vulnerable to a dangerous extend.
  • There are also environmental factors, including the widespread use of antibiotics on farm animals that require more research to determine their role in building resistance.

Significance of the initiative

  • Prior to everything, the best way to educate the public about medicine is to properly educate physicians first.
  • The fresh list should help the health system, planners and prescribers ensure that people who need antibiotics have access to them.
  • It will also ensure that they get the right antibiotic which will eventually solve the problem of resistance.
  • With strict filter of the antibiotics, under which some medicines are reserved for the most resistant microbes, the WHO list can stop their misuse as broad-spectrum treatments.
  • With access to speedy and accurate diagnosis, this new beginning can sensitize the medical community to its responsibility to prevent antimicrobial resistance
  • It will also take enlightened policies on housing, sanitation and hygiene education to prevent new infections and the spread of disease-causing organisms.
  • It will take good public health policies, sufficient funding and determined leadership to overcome antibiotic resistance.
  • The new categorization will further guide countries in ensuring access to appropriate antibacterial agents and support antimicrobial stewardship effort.

What is Antibiotic Resistance?

What is an antibiotic? An antibiotic is a substance used to kill bacteria. Say for instance, our guts are full of bacteria. Some are good, and some are bad. Once someone takes an antibiotic, it clears the gut of most bacteria, including the good kind. But some resistant bacteria remain and develop resistance to the… Continue reading What is Antibiotic Resistance?

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