Target: World Health Organization Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan
Goal: Increase awareness about antibiotic resistance worldwide
Recently, the BBC reported that the Health Protection Agency and chief medical officer, Prof. Dame Sally Davies, have issued warnings about antibiotic resistance being a “big threat to health.” However, antibiotic resistance is not just a threat to worldwide health, but an imminent disaster that has the potential to plunge the world back to a pre-penicillin age when the simplistic bacterial infection took thousands of lives. Sign this petition and encourage the World Health Organization to increase awareness about the seriousness of antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance is not just a threat to worldwide health; it is a warning to change our actions now or risk danger in the future. The danger is no longer on the horizon as bacteria which have become genetically resistant to antibiotics, known as superbugs, are quite real.
Cardiff University researchers have recently discovered a superbug gene prevalent in New Delhi, India and state that bacteria who have this antibiotic resistant gene have found their way into New Delhi’s water supply. The antibiotic resistant gene was found in bacteria that cause dysentery and cholera, which are easily passed from person to person.
Over 70 cases of bacterial infections with such antibiotic resistance have been reported in the UK since 2009, carried there by travelers who visited India and came into contact with any of the thousands of potential carriers of this antibiotic resistant bacteria.
In addition to antibiotic resistant strains of cholera and dysentery, the Swedish Research Laboratory has reported genetic mutations in the bacteria that cause gonorrhea, which have also made this strain of the infection resistant to antibiotics. The first reported case of this strain was found in Japan and was reported in the BBC in 2011.
These genetic mutations make the bacteria resistant to carbapenem antibiotics, which are some of medicine’s strongest antibiotics and are known as the antibiotics of last resort. The findings of these genetic mutations is not just troubling. It is terrifying, but also predictable as doctors tend to over-prescribe and people tend to overuse- and misuse- antibiotics, all of which have led to antibiotic resistance.
Sign this petition and urge the World Health Organization to increase awareness about antibiotic resistance and increase funding for research on how to combat these superbugs.
Dear Dr. Chan,
Antibiotic resistance is no longer a far-off threat to global health. In the last five years, antibiotic resistant strains of cholera, dysentery, and gonorrhea have been discovered and the public needs to be made aware about what antibiotic resistance means for the world.
Without carbapenem antibiotics, we will be reduced to a pre-penicillin age, when simple bacterial infections took thousands of lives. And we have created superbugs, which are no longer simple bacterial infections. Although the WHO already campaigns for the safe and smart use of antibiotics, it has not been enough to prevent the creation of superbugs.
Please begin to increase public awareness about what antibiotic resistance means for global health. The lack of media attention to these superbugs is alarming as medicine no longer has ways to combat them. Perhaps through an increased awareness campaign, the WHO can help to increase funding for research on new ways to fight bacterial infections so that we may ward off the superbugs and avoid making the same mistake again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: kaibara87 via Flickr