TWN Info Service on Health Issues (Aug18/02)
2 August 2018
Third World Network

Drug resistance takes devastating toll on families in India

Dear friends and colleagues,

A 2013 study estimated 60,000 infants in India die from sepsis caused by antimicrobial-resistant infections every year. The expert who authored this study now believes the figure has doubled to 120,000.

Doctors increasingly treating babies with colistin (a drug of last resort) see even those just born carry a frightening resistance to the drug. They worry about what to do when the last line of defence fails.

Multi-drug resistant infections have risen drastically and prescribing colistin has become commonplace. Doctors must use it because itís the only way to save dying babies.

In India, 26 million babies are born every year, of which some 650,000 die in infancy and about 25 percent of the deaths are caused by infection, notes Dr. Neelam Kler from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

There are many reasons for the growth of antimicrobial resistance but Dr Kler is particularly concerned about three issues in India: pharmacies sell antibiotics without prescription; crowded hospitals lack strong infection control; and few diagnostics available to confirm bacterial infections before antibiotics are started.

This is the second story of a six-part series by two Canadian journalists telling the personal stories of survivors of antibiotic resistance and exploring how the unfettered use of antibiotics pushes humanity closer to a post-antibiotic era in which common infections may be impossible to treat.

Please click here to read the 26 June 2018 article.

With best wishes,

Third World Network