• Switzerland's news in English
Merkel warns WHO meet of antibiotics dangers
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Merkel warns WHO meet of antibiotics dangers

AFP · 18 May 2015, 14:27

Published: 18 May 2015 14:27 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In an address for the opening of the World Health Organization's main annual conference Merkel stressed the interconnectedness of global health systems, insisting all nations must work together to root out the problem of antimicrobial resistance — when bugs become immune to existing drugs.

"What is important is to see to it that the effectiveness of the existing antibiotics is ensured and that we use them for purely medicinal purposes," she told diplomats and health experts gathered for the conference.
Merkel said Germany had already agreed to a global action plan for addressing the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance, drafted by the WHO, which is set to be considered by all member states during the two-week World Health Assembly.
"I think each and every country ought to agree such a plan," she told the assembly, stressing that time was of the essence to halt the misuse of antibiotics both for humans and animals.
"We have to avoid these resistances from being built up," she said, pointing out that "it is much more difficult once those resistances actually exist . . . to develop new drugs to combat them."
A WHO report late last month however revealed "major gaps" in all regions of the world in addressing the problem and reining in overuse and misuse of antibiotics.
The UN health agency has warned that without urgent action, the world could be headed for "a post-antibiotic era" in which common infections and minor injuries that have long been treatable once again become killers.
"This is indeed an issue that will be of crucial importance for humankind as a whole," Merkel said.

Learn lessons from Ebola 

Story continues below…

The German chancellor also spoke of WHO's widely criticized response to the west African Ebola outbreak, which to date has infected nearly 26,800 people and killed more than 11,000 of them.
She stressed the continued vital role of the UN health body, which has been blasted for reacting far too slowly as Ebola cases began multiplying in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the first half of 2014.
However, she said, WHO's decentralized structures needed to be rendered "more efficient" to ensure a faster reaction next time.
Merkel said it was a cause for celebration that Liberia, long the hardest-hit country, had been declared Ebola-free and that cases have dwindled in Guinea and Sierra Leone.
But, she said, the fight against Ebola "will only be truly won once we are well-equipped to weather the next crisis, once we have actually learned our lesson from this crisis."

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Report: Swiss progress slows on gender equality
File photo: David Soulivet

Globally, it will take 170 years to achieve gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum.

Brothers go to court to stop suicide of sibling
File photo: Lisa Edmonds

Two men have filed a legal bid to prevent the Swiss assisted suicide association Exit from helping their older brother to kill himself.

Wawrinka snubs past form to reach Basel second round
Wawrinka beat local wildcard Marco Chiudinelli. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has reached the second round in Basel after going out in the first round for the past four years.

Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Police discover body buried in Orbe house
File photo: Bas Leenders

Police have opened an investigation after finding a body buried in a house in Orbe, in the canton of Vaud, on Saturday.

Valais shaken by 4.2 magnitude earthquake
The earthquake hit in the canton of Valais near Sierre. Photo: Alain Rouiller

It's the biggest earthquake to hit the country for two years.

Swiss Indoors kicks off without champ Federer
Federer celebrates with ball girls and boys after winning the event in 2015. Photo: Harold Cunningham/Pool/AFP

Stan Wawrinka is top seed as injured Federer sits it out.

IOC hires Russian doping whistleblower as consultant
IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed the news. File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has hired Vitaly Stepanov as a consultant and is helping his runner wife Yuliya.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available