SARS-CoV-2 is a new coronavirus. The virus causes the COVID-19 pandemic which currently requires the full focus, commitment and support from all governments, international institutions and organizations, the healthcare workforce, the private sector, civil society and the general public.
Some attention has started to be given to the role of secondary infections as well as antibiotic resistance in patients with COVID-19.
A key component of delivering new antibiotics to market is ensuring that they are used appropriately. To learn how this can be done, ReAct looked into how bedaquiline, a new anti-tuberculosis drug was introduced in South Africa. A key learning point from the project was that the requirements for sustainable use of antibiotics correlate with the building blocks of a strong health system.
Lucas Alonso, researcher at the University de la Plata in Argentina, headed an unpublished work for Latin America last year. Together with a group of researchers, he showed that antibiotics are found as pollutants in rivers and streams of the Cuenca del Plata, one of the largest drainage basins in the world. Here he replies to a few questions on the subject.
Shortages of antibiotics have become a global problem that also affect countries with robust healthcare and regulatory systems. Shortages of medicines in general cause patients to lose access to important treatments and, as such, lead to increased costs, morbidity and even mortality. But shortages of antibiotics may also lead to increases in antibiotic resistance.
End February Africa CDC and ReAct Africa convened a workshop targeting civil society organizations in the African region. The main objective of the workshop was to build capacity on antimicrobial resistance advocacy for civil society organizations. Here are some key take aways from the workshop and actions for 2020.
Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 years old. Many of these infections are likely caused by resistant bacteria. To shed further light on how antibiotic resistance affects children ReAct has produced a short fact sheet.
A new AMR Benchmark report was released during the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2020. While this new AMR Benchmark uncovers some truly concerning facts on company behavior, these findings are often not framed in a way that makes their significance clear. This brief ReAct assessment tries to put these findings in context and comments on the AMR Benchmark’s approach. Is the glass half full or half empty?
Next month experts will gather in Bangkok at a WHO-organized meeting – this to discuss the roll-out of WHO’s new toolkit on Antimicrobial stewardship programmes in health-care facilities in low- and middle-income countries. I context of this ReAct takes the opportunity to share its reflections from a ReAct-led stewardship project in rural secondary level hospitals in India.
World Cancer Day
We all know someone who has suffered from cancer: a family member, a friend or a colleague. Maybe yourself? Less well-known is how fundamental effective antibiotics are during the course of cancer treatment. Cancer patients rely on antibiotics for prevention and treatment of infections. This is one of the most common complications of their illness. Antibiotic resistance may have detrimental effects on cancer treatment outcomes.
Gustavo Cedillo is a teacher in Cuenca, Ecuador. He is one of the teachers in the region using ReAct Latin America’s school material Alforja Educativa – The Educational Saddlebag. The material educates children about the world of bacteria. Professor Cedillo has worked as a teacher for 37 years and he really likes using a holistic perspective in his classes.
What is the relationship between the bacteria in us and our health? And can these bacteria cause diseases that we think are noncommunicable? In 2017, ReAct published a factsheet on the human microbiome that brought up some of these connections, but today we know even more as research has moved forward.