The wheels of international politics all too frequently move at a snail’s pace when dealing with threats that are not considered to be imminent. But when the threat becomes very real like it did with Ebola, Bird Flu and other virulent diseases, and is currently happening with Zika, world authorities show swift and practical commitment to eradicate the problems at source. Sadly that is often too late for the many thousands that die or suffer the long term effects of contracting these deadly diseases.
We should of course welcome yesterday’s announcement that all the 193 member states of the UN member states are set to sign a declaration agreeing to combat “the biggest threat to modern medicine” (The Guardian 21st September 2016) in Wednesday’s high-level meeting on antibiotic resistance. It is estimated that around 700,000 people die each year due to drug resistant infections, many of whom are already in hospital fighting other illnesses and infections and therefore have little residual natural resistance.
Antibiotic resistance is by no means a new problem. When Alexander Fleming accepted his Nobel Peace Prize in 1945 he warned “There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant”. The difference now is that many of the antibiotics that were effective in Fleming’s day and since are no longer able to deal with superbugs such as CRE. Back in May this year, Dr. Lance Price a researcher at George Washington University remarked “We are one step away from CRE strains that cannot be treated with antibiotics. We now have all the pieces in place for it to be untreatable.”
It is not before time that the UN have put the issue of antimicrobial resistance towards the top of their agenda. Their emphasis appears to be on combating infections that are already a considerable threat and in moving to reduce the use of antibiotics in all their forms, including agriculture which is their main user. But there is also an opportunity to promote preventative measures and there is a danger this may get lost in the wash. Interrupting the breeding cycle of these micro-organisms is vital in reducing the incidence of infections in our healthcare institutions, and that is the main function of BioClad wall panels and an increasingly diverse range of antimicrobial products.
BioClad panels offer 24/7 antimicrobial protection. They do not only protect against incidences of bacteria. BioClad offers protection against protozoans, fungi, mould, and a range of other potentially harmful microbes, including bacteria. With BioClad you get a superior second defence barrier for those hygiene-critical areas. It seems logical to suggest that removing the threat of spread can make a significant contribution in the fight against these virulent diseases.
Please contact us if you would like to know more about BioClad’s range of antimicrobial products.