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CPS invites providers to workshop on antibiotics

31 May 2017

PHILIPSBURG–Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA, is organising a workshop for healthcare providers to discuss antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and St. Maarten’s National Action Plan (NAP).

The workshop is set for the CPS Conference Room in the Vineyard Office Park in Philipsburg on June 1, at 6:30pm. Healthcare providers can reserve their participation by e-mailing surveillance@sintmaartengov.org or deborah.granger@sintmaartengov.org or calling 542-2078.

Globally and regionally, countries are called to have a national AMR Plan in 2017 as a way to manage the evolving risk as it relates to the use of antibiotics.

CPS is currently coordinating the multi-sectoral discussions to carry out the World Health Organisation (WHO)/Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) call to develop a national AMR plan for the country.

The approach undertaken by CPS seeks to ensure stakeholders’ participation, commitment and involvement in developing procedures and standards to monitor and manage local AMR development and occurrence, in compliance with international trends.

Considering local capacity and resources, the NAP’s effectiveness and success depends on a collective approach by Government, private and community users.

The potential facilitators during this activity are Dr. S. Nadery, internist at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC); Dr. Radijnkoemar Steingrover, microbiologist consultant at SMMC and to St. Maarten Laboratory Services (SLS).

The United Nations (UN) health agency WHO kicked off a campaign in the latter part of 2016 to make antibiotic resistance a globally recognised health issue and to raise awareness of the need to protect antibiotics through appropriate use.

WHO just recently published its first-ever list of antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogens” – a catalogue of 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health. The list was drawn up in a bid to guide and promote research and development (R&D) of new antibiotics, as part of WHO’s efforts to address growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines.

The WHO list is divided into three categories according to the urgency of need for new antibiotics: critical, high and medium priority.

The most critical group of all includes multidrug-resistant bacteria that pose a particular threat in hospitals, nursing homes and among patients whose care requires devices such as ventilators and blood catheters.

They include Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and various Enterobacteriaceae, including Klebsiella, E. coli, Serratia and Proteus. They can cause severe and often deadly infections such as bloodstream infections and pneumonia.

AMR happens when microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics, antifungals and antivirals. Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs.” Medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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