Antimicrobial resistance is a growing global issue that medical specialists fear will kill more people than cancer by 2050, which is why the Parliament is urging the Commission and member states to implement greater prevention measures.
Stored in this Belgian lab is a growing health threat that's too small for the naked eye to see: drug-resistant microbes. Normally, these 16 antibiotics are effective against the bacteria here. But as you can see, only one is working. So that is a highly resistant bacteria. Doctors are increasingly faced with untreatable bacterial infections because the antibiotics simply no longer work. Due to the abusive use of antibiotics, more and more bacteria are resistant to antibiotics which sometimes complicates helping patients with an infection. The abuse of antibiotics isn't only limited to humans. Resistant bacteria are also transferred from animals to humans through both direct contact and the food chain. The problem has set off alarm bells around the world. 700,000 deaths a year are linked to drug-resistant infections. In the EU alone, four million people a year contract infections in hospitals, breeding grounds for bacteria. Parliament is urging the Commission and member states to implement better measures to combat the problem, from increasing awareness about the proper prescriptions and use of antibiotics to improved hygiene and security. It's little steps that can really make the big difference, like washing your hands in the hospitals. Then we have a lot of people who take antibiotics even if they don't work at the moment because they have a viral infection, so it's the prudent use and the correct use. In addition to funding EU research on the matter, Parliament calls for more investments in new models, private partners and alternatives.