Complex Made Simple

ESLES hosts 2nd Anti-Infective ME Forum in partnership with Bayer HealthCare

Experts urge the proper use of antibiotics to curb the worldwide challenge of resistance

The Emirates Society of Laparoscopic Endoscopic Surgeons (ESLES) in partnership with Bayer Healthcare organized the 2nd Anti-Infective Middle East (ME) Forum at the Intercontinental Hotel at the Dubai Festival City.

The event focused on rasing awareness of the proper use of antibiotics with an emphasis on skin infections, generic drugs and the latest antibiotics available that will transform regional practices. Experts also issued regional recommendations on best-in-class management of common cases to enhance the quality of healthcare services.

“Anti-infectives, which include antibiotics, have transformed the practice of medicine making once lethal infections readily treatable and other medical advances, such as chemotherapy and organ transplants, possible,” said Nadine Fanous, Communications Manager at Bayer HealthCare.

“With over 90 years of experience in the development of antibiotics, Bayer HealthCare has consistently remained at the forefront of this field. We are very keen to support proactive measures taken by healthcare authorities and communities to ensure the proper use of antibiotics,” she added.

“Antibiotics are the most important tool we have to control many life-threatening bacterial diseases. In 2014, 12 million packs of antibiotics were sold in the UAE catering to the health needs of nearly six million individuals, ” said Dr Basim Al Khafaji, FRCS, Laparoscopic Consultant and General Surgeon at the Canadian Specialist Hospital and Vice President of the ESLES. “Yet increasing levels of resistance are compromising their effectiveness. We want to draw attention to the serious consequences that could result from the overuse of antibiotics at the forefront of which is antibiotic resistance,” he added.

A global health problem of increasing magnitude, antibiotic resistance is also an economic burden on healthcare systems; antiresistant infections not only cost more to treat but prolong the duration of illness.

“UAE Health Authorities are taking important measures to control the use of antibiotics and to warn both patients and physicians against the indiscriminate use of antibiotics,” said Dr Al Khafaji.

“It is crucial that we no longer take the availability of effective antibiotics for granted. Some of the most common misconceptions in the region is that any antibiotic can be used to treat all infections and that all types of infections can be treated with antibiotcs,” said Dr Amer Helbaoui, MD Specialist in Internal Medicine, Royal Medical Center and Medicinic, Dubai.

“Addressing antibiotic resistance requires a coordinated multi-faceted approach focused on reducing inappropriate antimicrobial use; reducing the emergence and spread of resistant oraganisms, encouraging the development of new anti-infective products, vaccines, and adjunct therapies; and supporting research on antimicrobial resistance,” he added.

In its discussion on skin disorders, the forum addressed the clinical efficacy of specific antibiotics in the treatment of complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI) as well as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infections and the challenge of growing antibiotic resistance.

“Currently one of the most prominent and potentially life-threatening infections is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – or MRSA – a type of bacterium that can resist the effects of many common antibiotics making MRSA infections much more difficult to cure. MRSA has been a problem in hospital and healthcare settings for decades, but now there are varieties of MRSA that occur in non-hospital settings. Community – acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) usually manifests as a skin infection,” Dr Al Khafaji explained.

“That is similarly the case with complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSIs,) with many cSSSIs in fact directly linked to MRSA infections, but in most cases the pathogen responsible remains unknown. Two of the most commonly used antibiotics in the treatment of these resistant infections are Moxifloxacin for cSSSIs and Tedizolid for MRSA skin infections, both produced by Bayer Healthcare,” he added.