Dr. Emilian Popovici, epidemiologist: “Antibiotic resistance is a growing threat, in addition to infectious diseases”

The vice-president of the Romanian Society of Epidemiology, Dr. Emilian Popovici, claims that in addition to infectious diseases, health systems also face “the growing threat of antibiotic resistance”.

Antibiotic resistance, a growing problem PHOTO: shutterstock

Medical epidemiologist Emilian Popovici believes that healthcare systems around the world face a multitude of challenges and issues that affect their ability to provide quality healthcare to the populations they serve.

According to the epidemiologist, one of the most pressing challenges for health systems globally is represented by the growing burden of non-communicable diseases.

“Conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory disease place a significant and progressively increasing strain on both resources and healthcare infrastructure, and this increase in the incidence of non-communicable diseases can be attributed in large part to factors related to lifestyle such as unhealthy diet, sedentary life or smoking. This major challenge requires a transdisciplinary and multisectoral approach which includes the prevention, early detection and effective management of this important group of diseases”explains the renowned Romanian epidemiologist.

Another major challenge for health systems, which is currently pressing more acutely in poor and middle-income countries, is the growing demand for healthcare services.

“Rapid population growth, urbanization and aging are putting increasing pressure on already limited resources. In addition to the issues already mentioned, this challenge is exacerbated by insufficient numbers of health workers, inadequate infrastructure and limited access to medicines and essential technologies. To address this challenge, health systems must focus on expanding access to health care, strengthening primary care services, and investing in the training and retention of health professionals.” states Dr. Emilian Popovici.

In addition to the burden of non-communicable diseases and the increasing demand for healthcare services, global health systems are also facing the impact of infectious diseases and their global threats to health.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted as clearly as possible the vulnerabilities of health systems and the need to have solid and efficient mechanisms for preparing and responding to a pandemic in place for the future. Among other things, we must not forget the fact that although the pandemic is a global phenomenon that required global measures, humanity was only capable of regional approaches as long as large areas and large populations in Africa, Asia and others remained without measures and without vaccination! “, claims Dr. Popovici.

Antibiotic resistance, an increasingly serious problem!

The Romanian epidemiologist points out that, in addition to infectious diseases, health systems also have to face the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, which can undermine the effectiveness of some essential medications and treatments.

In addition, health systems also face health care financing and sustainability challenges.

“Rising health care costs, inadequate funding and inefficient allocation of resources, in some situations dramatically diminish the ability of health systems to provide quality care”explains Dr. Emilian Popovici.