Lack Of Surveillance, Infection Control Procedures During Humanitarian Responses Could Spur Drug Resistance
New York Times: Will the Next Superbug Come From Yemen?
Sam Loewenberg, public health reporter
“…After years of bombardment that has crippled the food supply, destroyed basic infrastructure, and disrupted medical care, Yemen has become a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant disease, with potentially catastrophic consequences — and not just for Yemen. … More than 60 percent of the patients admitted to [Doctors Without Borders’] hospital in Aden have antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their systems. … In humanitarian crises, the focus is on emergency care, and other problems are often missed. … It’s a recipe for catastrophe: a struggling health system where antibiotics remain widely available with little oversight, combined with an overwhelming number of wounded in hospitals and weak hygiene and infection-control practices. Doctors in Yemen, struggling to treat the rush of patients, often use broad-spectrum antibiotics on even simple infections. … This goes to a core problem: a lack of surveillance and infection-control procedures as part of humanitarian response, which are increasingly a necessity with so many prolonged conflicts…” (4/14).