Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for urgent research and development to counter the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance around the world.

The UN agency has published a list of “priority pathogens” for which research into new antibiotics are needed.

UNICEF announced a contribution of US$2.6 million from the Government of Japan to help fight cholera in Haiti.

27 February 2017: The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for urgent research and development to counter the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) around the world. The agency published a list of “priority pathogens” for which research into new antibiotics is urgently needed.

The WHO list, released ahead of a meeting of senior health professionals from Group of 20 (G20) countries in Berlin, Germany, identifies bacteria that currently pose the greatest threat worldwide. It lists multidrug-resistant bacteria listed as a critical priority for action, as they affect hospitals, nursing homes, and patients using ventilators and blood catheters.

Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO, notes that the world is “fast running out of treatment options.” WHO calls for AMR to be countered through better prevention of infections and appropriate use of existing antibiotics, in addition to research and development.

Also in February, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced a contribution of US$2.6 million from the Government of Japan to help fight cholera in Haiti. In a press release of 22 February, the UN reports on the scale of the epidemic, which took hold nine months after the Haiti earthquake of October 2010, and has killed more than 9,000 people and affected around 788,000 people in total. Japan’s contribution is aimed at strengthening Haiti’s epidemiological coordination and surveillance, conduct surveys and deploy rapid response teams, and raising awareness of cholera-related hygiene. [WHO Press Release] [UN Press Release on AMR] [UN Press Release on Haiti]

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