News and Opinions  –  2018

Book release in Latin America: an arena for reflection, awareness and care about antibiotics

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To analyze the consequences of antibiotic resistance and possibilities of containing antibiotic resistance ReAct Latin America arranged an event at the University of Cuenca, Ecuador, releasing the book Madre Tierra: Una Sola Salud, in commemoration of World Health Day.

A dialogue about antibiotic resistance

As part of the presentation of the book Madre Tierra: Una Sola Salud, a conversation was held between:

  • Fernando Vega, former Constituent Assemblyman
  • Belgium Jiménez, president of the Austro Agroecological Network
  • Arturo Quizhpe, Head of ReAct Latin America

All the three panelists explained, each from his vision, the relation needed between humans and nature to maintain environmental health, without which health of humans is not possible.

Fernando Vega, as a former Assembly Member, talked about the need to understand the relation between humans and bacteria as a complex organism. He indicated that there is a possibility to construct policies within the legal framework of the Rights of Nature, contemplated in the Ecuadorian Constitution of 2008, which would enable actions to deal with antibiotic resistance.

Jiménez highlighted the importance of developing agro-ecological agriculture to guarantee healthy food and environment. He said:

“From our experience, we can say that when we stop using agro-toxins, we are taking care of the water and therefore, we are taking care of health and life.”

A book full of experiences

The book includes proceedings from the Mother Earth Conference: Una Sola Salud, an event that took place in Argentina last June, and includes texts from several authors. These provide useful research and evidence to work on and influence the paradigm shift in medical practice, to prevent the spread of bacterial resistance.

“We must look at health as one, in which other sectors can be involved, not only that of medicine, but also farmers, environmentalists and others as well.”

said Arturo Quizhpe, Head of ReAct Latin America.

The book is written for health professionals, persons who work in programs to contain antibiotic resistance and ecologists interested in understanding antibiotic resistance.

Time to tackle antibiotic resistance

The event and the book contributed to create a space for reflection and awareness for the care of antibiotics, their rational use and the prevention of the spread of antibiotic resistance.

For Fernando Estévez, professor of Neuroscience and Bioethics at the University of Cuenca, this was a necessary arena to address the relevance of research regarding antibiotics and he believes these arenas for reflection, when students and academics are involved, are very important to get a broader vision of bacterial resistance.

The book will also be presented in other academic settings in the coming weeks:

  • In Rosario, Argentina, in the inaugural class of the subject of Socio-environmental Health of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the National University of Rosario
  • In Mar de Ajó, Argentina, in the VII Congress of General Medicine and Health Team
  • In La Paz, Bolivia, at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in the framework of the international meeting “Understanding the Resistance to Antimicrobials, Caring for the Health of Mother Earth, Healing Us.”