How drug resistance is spreading in Africa

BBC News health correspondent Mary Douglas is reporting from the World Health Organisation’s 2019 Global Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

It’s the World Health Assembly – a forum where governments, health experts and charities gather to discuss the latest drug resistance news, health trends and global trends in research and development.

Read more: How drug resistance is spreading in Africa

This year’s theme is resistance to antibiotics, with debates on how to treat serious and growing infections set to dominate the agenda.

Scientists have told Mary there’s a changing landscape for antibiotics and they’re seeing drug-resistant bugs emerging all over the world.

In Britain alone, there are now more than 10 million cases every year, with thousands of people dying from these problems.

New studies in Botswana have suggested that the drug-resistant infection, which is now being reported to all countries, is actually the worst seen in the world so far.

Scientists have said it’s a catastrophe waiting to happen and new research out on Thursday has suggested that this type of NDM-1 bacterium doesn’t just exist in Botswana and is far more widespread than previously thought.

Sir Greg Rutherford is in Geneva to chair a WHO panel that will consider what action can be taken next.

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