Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are increasing in the Middle East
An effect of overuse of antibiotics as well as recent years of war and conflicts have led to increased antibiotic resistant bacteria, especially in Iraqi Mosul, says Doctors Without Borders in Iraq. - This kind of bacteria can be found everywhere. On the skin, on the clothes, says the doctor Zakaria al-Bakri.
Barracks and mobile operating rooms, this is what Doctors Without Borders Clinic consists of on the outskirts of Mosul in Iraq.
The medical facility opened a year and a half ago at a time when the area was thirsty for more medical beds.
- We chose from the very beginning to take a biopsy, tissue sample, from every patient who sought care at the clinic. And then we were completely shocked when we discovered that the antibiotics the patients had previously received were not working, they were useless, says Zakaria al-Bakri, a doctor at the clinic.
About 40 percent of the clinic's patients have been infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Photo: Salim Alsabbagh / SVT Bacteria get attached to wounds
The war in Iraq has led to many casualties. And the years during the terrorist group IS occupation, conditions became difficult in many parts of the country, especially in Mosul. Some parts of the city are still in ruins with a lack of both water and electricity, even though IS was defeated just over two years ago.
- Poor infrastructure, inadequate health care, hygiene and damage that have not been properly handled have led to these bacteria becoming established here, says Zakaria al-Bakri. and continues:
"As long as the skin is intact, there is no danger, but if you get a wound it can lead to terrible infections," says Zakaria al-Bakri."It was a major injury"
One of the clinic's patients is 11-year-old Ali Hussein. He was hit on his birthday and has been in an isolation room for over a month.
"I broke my leg and all the meat was gone, but I'm fine today," says Ali, smiling and showing drawings he made from the hospital bed.
Eleven-year-old Ali Hussein was involved in a car accident on his birthday. Photo: Salim Alsabbagh / SVT
When he entered the clinic, doctors discovered that he not only had a broken bone, but also the same antibiotic-resistant bacteria that many other Mosul residents who sought care at the clinic have had.
- It was a major injury and the onset of the bacterial infection. He was given medicine and they cleaned the wound because it was not clean. And thank god it was a successful operation, says mother Buthaina Ahmed.Threats to humanity
According to the World Health Organization, WHO, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are one of the biggest threats to humanity. And now doctors are alerting how it is increasing around the Middle East, from Gaza to Mosul, as antibiotics are over-used.
- The message is the "four right". The right diagnosis, the right kind of antibiotic, the right dosage and the right length of treatment, says Zakaria al-Bakri.