News and Opinions  –  2020

ReAct Report: Treatment of newborn sepsis is threatened - effective antibiotics essential

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Neonatal sepsis, a condition caused by the body’s response to infections, affects four million newborns globally every year. It makes up 15% of all neonatal deaths and the majority occur in low-income countries. Alarmingly, and further complicating an already lethal condition, up to 40% of neonatal sepsis cases are due to resistant pathogens. Today, on World Children's Day, ReAct releases a new report on newborns, sepsis and antibiotic resistance.

Over 400 responses from 74 countries

ReAct conducted a web-based survey between July 29th – October15th, 2020 aiming to understand the awareness, availability of guidelines, general practice and potential challenges physicians face around neonatal sepsis and antimicrobial resistance. Over 400 responses from 74 countries were received.

  • Overall, 60% of respondents are very or even extremely worried about antimicrobial resistance as a threat to the effective treatment of neonatal sepsis.
  • 79% of respondents have seen an increasing trend of multidrug resistant infections over the last five years, regardless of the region and income level of the health care facility where they work.
  • In some low-income countries, physicians report that over 50% of the newborns they treat develop sepsis and that over 75% of neonatal sepsis cases are due to resistant pathogens.

From report:

“We need availability of national regulatory policy, periodic research and study to map the profile and extent of antimicrobial resistance in the nation, use the data for preparation of national guidelines and protocols, including IPC, training and orientation of health service providers within and outside the hospitals including in the private sector and awareness creation in the general public.”

Physician, Sierra Leone

Five recommendations from report

The following actions can have an impact on antimicrobial resistance and neonatal sepsis:

  1. Policy changes and strong commitments from governments
  2. Improving awareness of neonatal sepsis and antimicrobial resistance among hospital staff
  3. Antimicrobial stewardship and Infection Prevention and Control
  4. Availability of effective existing and new antibiotics
  5. Availability of diagnostics and improving lab capacity

Life-threatening infections in children are becoming untreatable. Leaders – act now! For a world free from untreatable infections. #AntibioticResistance Tweet this

The message is clear – physicians are worried about losing the very drugs that can save the lives of newborns with sepsis. Leaders – act now! For a world free from untreatable infections. #AntibioticResistance Tweet this

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