by Dr. Uwe Peters

The increase in resistant bacteria due to the often improper use of antibiotics in humans has become a global problem. Development of new active agents alone does not provide a satisfactory solution. In an overall concept to reduce antibiotic resistance, phytopharmaceuticals as well as microbiological drugs can make a substantial contribution. To illustrate this, this positional paper presents examples from both therapeutic areas mentioned and pleads to include them in the discussion about strategies for working against antibiotic resistance. This is vital in health policies as well as on a scientific level and should be integrated in both through appropriate research programs.

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A new roadmap to tackle antimicrobial resistance is released by the AMR Stakeholder Network on the occasion of the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (Nov 18, 2019).

AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance) has been declared by the World Health Organization as an urgent, global health threat, projected to cause more deaths globally than cancer by 2050. The new Roadmap outlines 5 concrete strategies with corresponding targets for the EU and national decision-makers should take in order to step up their efforts in the fight against AMR.

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Traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) is an important and often underestimated health resource with many applications, especially in the prevention and management of lifestyle-related chronic diseases, and in meeting the health needs of ageing populations. Many countries are seeking to expand coverage of essential health services at a time when consumer expectations for care are rising, costs are soaring, and most budgets are either stagnant or being reduced. Given the unique health challenges of the 21st century, interest in T&CM is undergoing a revival.


    a) In general, naturopathy emphasizes prevention, treatment and the promotion of optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and modalities which encourage the self-healing process – the vis medicatrix naturae. The philosophical approaches of naturopathy include prevention of disease, encouragement of the body's inherent healing abilities, natural treatment of the whole person, personal responsibility for one's health, and education of patients in health-promoting lifestyles. Naturopathy blends centuries-old knowledge of natural therapies with current advances in the understanding of health and human systems. Naturopathy, therefore, can be described as the general practice of natural health therapies.
    b) Many of the philosophical principles that underpin naturopathic practice can be traced to the teachings of Stoicism in ancient Greece and the practice of medicine in the Hippocratic schools. In addition to these ancient roots, naturopathic practice emerged from an amalgamation of the philosophy, techniques, science and principles that typified the alternative healing systems of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly those related to vitalism. These alternative approaches tended to focus both on health promotion and on health-care regimes that supported the patient’s innate healing processes.

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