CPS invites healthcare providers to sign-up for Antibiotics Resistance Workshop

Minister of Health, Social Affairs and Labour Emil Lee

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), is busy organizing a discussion for healthcare providers to discuss Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and the Sint Maarten National Action Plan (NAP).

The workshop is set for June 1 at 6.30pm in the CPS Conference Room at the Vineyard Office Park in Philipsburg.  Healthcare providers can reserve their participation by emailing:surveillance@sintmaartengov.org or deborah.granger@sintmaartengov.org or call 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 Organization (WHO)/Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) call to develop a country National AMR plan.

CPS supports efforts underway by the WHO to further profile the challenges that exist where new antibiotics are needed.  Sint Maarten’s medical care system is also impacted by the rise in “superbugs” and therefore the need for the country to also have a NAP plan in place describing the country’s strategic approach to manage AMR considering the resource limitations.

The approach undertaken by CPS seeks to ensure stakeholder’s 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 effectiveness and success is dependent on a collective approach by government, private and community user.

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, the World Health Organization, in the latter part of 2016 kicked off a campaign to make antibiotic resistance a globally recognized health issue and to raise awareness of the need to protect antibiotics through appropriate use.

The 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.

These bacteria have become resistant to a large number of antibiotics, including carbapenems and third generation cephalosporins – the best available antibiotics for treating multi-drug resistant bacteria.

The second and third tiers in the list – the high and medium priority categories – contain other increasingly drug-resistant bacteria that cause more common diseases such as gonorrhoea and food poisoning caused by salmonella.

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.