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Healthcare professionals in Dubai concerned about NDM-1.

Healthcare professionals in Dubai concerned about NDM-1Concerns are rising between professionals in about a new superbug, New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase1 (), following several reports about its activity in several countries including India, Pakistan, and UK. is a new antibiotic resistant type of bacteria that appeared for the first time in India. Several professionals in Dubai confirmed the need for applying international surveillance system during the coming months to monitor NDM-1. Such systems have been approved in France and are currently under revision in several countries such as China, Japan and Singapore.

Yet, The Chairman of the Infection Control Committee UAE, Dr. Ashraf Mahmoud El Houfi, noted that there is no need for applying such systems in UAE as NDM-1 infection has not been reported in the country. He explained “Though we have monitoring systems for dangerous superbugs such as MRSA and other multidrug resistant bacteria, I feel there is no need to act on something that we do not have. We can pass a judgment only after evidence has been passed on scientifically in the UAE,” Dr. El Houfi continued “The surveillance system screens only patients from certain categories. For example, if the patient is being brought from another hospital or with a low immune system disease such as HIV. We also have environmental prescheduled screenings such as for the hydro pool, solid surfaces and air conditioners to avoid spread,” He added that in-patients at hospitals are undergoing screenings every 30 days. He concluded that the risk of NDM-1 was over-estimated. He said “In the case of H1N1, the warnings were issued by the World Health Organization and the US Center for Disease Control. No such warnings have been issued for this superbug as yet,”

On the other hand, Dr. El Houfi warned against antibiotic abuse in UAE mentioning that it is resulting in increased drug resistance and reduced sensitivity. An increasing number of infections have been reported at major Dubai hospitals, such as Rashid Hospital and Dubai Hospitals, by the offices conducting the central Infection Control Program.

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