The global rise of superbugs poses a serious threat to humankind, as revealed by a recent report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The report sheds light on the significant impact of superbugs on human life and the economy, and it’s a wake-up call for the world to take action.
What are Superbugs?
Superbugs are strains of bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites that have become resistant to most antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics in animal farming and pollution from pharmaceutical companies has only made these superbugs stronger. Decades-Old Drug Effective in Treating Brain Eating Amoeba.
The Spread of Superbugs
The superbugs do not discriminate between rich or poor, developed or developing nations, and they spread quickly. Even well-funded healthcare systems can be brought to their knees as they may not have the means to tackle these superbugs.
The Causes of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
AMR is a natural phenomenon, but the overuse of medicines, especially antibiotics, has exacerbated the problem. The excessive use of antibiotics in animal farming provides bacterial strains with the opportunity to mutate and avoid the effects of antibiotics. On the other hand, pharma companies polluting the waterways through inadequate treatment of medical sewage creates superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics.
The Cost of Superbugs
The report states that as many as 10 million people could be dying every year by 2050 due to AMR, making it as big a killer as cancer is today. The rise of superbugs will also have a significant impact on the global economy, with the direct economic consequence of AMR estimated to be approximately $3.4 trillion a year by 2030. Additionally, 24 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty.
The report concludes that pollution of air, soil, and waterways undermines the human right to a clean and healthy environment and is worsening the antimicrobial resistance problem. The world must act now to address this issue and prevent superbugs from destroying our health and food systems.
The rise of superbugs is a global threat that requires immediate attention and action. The report serves as a reminder of the impact of pollution on human health and the environment, and it is our responsibility to take steps to prevent the spread of superbugs and protect the health of our planet and its people.