Friday , April 16 2021

Resistant bacteria cost a lot of lives and money, the OECD warns

Antibiotic resistant bacteria not only put lives at risk but also weigh in health systems: they could by 2050, to spend up to 3.5 billion dollars annually in each OECD country, according to a report published on Wednesday 7 November.

"These bacteria are more expensive than flu, AIDS, tuberculosis and will cost even more if states do not act to solve this problem," Michele Cechini, a public health expert at AFP, told AFP. OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).

According to him, countries are already spending an average of 10% of their health budget on the treatment of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

According to estimates in the report, which concerns 33 out of 36 OECD countries, resistant bacteria could kill 2.4 million people in Europe, North America and Australia by 2050.

A separate study, published Monday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, reported 33,000 the number of deaths due to these bacteria in 2015 in the European Union.

However, we can tackle them with "simple measures" at a moderate cost, according to the OECD: "encouraging better hygiene" (by encouraging, for example, handwashing), "ending excessive prescribing of antibiotics" or further generalizing rapid diagnosis tests to determine if an infection is viral (in which case antibiotics are useless) or bacterial.

According to the OECD, these measures will only cost $ 2 per person per year prevent three quarters of deaths.

"Investing in a major public health program that includes some of these measures could be eradicated in one year and would result in savings of $ 4.8 billion a year," the OECD says.

Health authorities, starting with the World Health Organization (WHO), regularly update risk of overconsumption of antibiotics, making it resistant to terrible bacteria. Young children and the elderly are at particular risk.

"In Brazil, Indonesia and Russia, between 40 and 60% of infections are already persistent, compared to an average of 17% in OECD countries, "he said.

Even more worrying is that "resistance to second or third line antibiotics is expected to be 70% higher in 2030 than in 2005". These antibiotics are what are supposed to be used as a last resort when there is no other solution.

(By AFP)

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