Iraq: Over a third of our patients in East Mosul show antibiotic resistance

24 Jan 2019
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Bacteria, viruses, parasites and other microbes are always changing to ensure their survival. Some have adapted so well to medical treatment that drugs commonly used to prevent or kill them are no longer effective. These microbes cause drug-resistant infections. Their ability to survive medicines used against them is called antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In the case of bacterial pathogens, for which antibiotics are the most common and important drugs available for treatment, we speak of antibiotic resistance (ABR).

Special coverage about antibiotic resistance in Mosul

1- The invisible burden of antibiotic resistance in Mosul

Saad sits in his bed and stares at the window, enjoying for a moment the pale light that filters through. He is alone in his isolation room, the doctors having just finished their daily medical consultation. They told him that he would be having surgery again soon – his fourth surgical intervention since the accident.


2- “Without urgent action, common infections and minor injuries could be deadly again”

Ernestina Repetto, MSF advisor on infectious diseases, answers the big questions on antibiotic resistance.

Based in the Middle East, Ernestina’s work focuses on antibiotic resistance and its effect on MSF’s projects worldwide. In East Mosul and elsewhere she advises on treatment for patients with multidrug resistant infections.


3- “Over a third of our patients in East Mosul show antibiotic resistance”

Karam Yaseen works as a health promoter at MSF’s comprehensive post-operative care facility in East Mosul, Iraq, where almost 40 per cent of patients arrive with multidrug-resistant infections.

Every day, he talks to patients and their caretakers about health issues and promotes healthy behaviour. He also runs awareness sessions about the use of antibiotic drugs.

Karam describes how the misuse of antibiotics can have a dramatic impact on the health and recovery of patients, many of whom have infections that are resistant to treatment with antibiotics.


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