Superbug infections spread for several inter-locking reasons. Some are medical-epidemiological and others created inadvertently by human. We cannot blame members of our profession nor pharmaceutical companies but blame ourself for the “21st Century Crisis”.
Hospitals and healthcare centres in the next few years will resemble the picture and humanity will suffer. I am not trying to scare you but the problem is real. With 12 bacteria colonised in hospitals, 9 in London Underground trains and sterilised towels and equipments colonised with superbugs, we stand no chance of fighting this threat to humanity.
I spent more than twenty years warning, institutions, national medical councils, medical associations, device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and challenged people in power for concealing truth. Most infections of the past two decade was inadvertently created by human and often started in one place and in one family. The infections spread because people were not properly educated. Majority of highly contagious disease spread before the onset of symptoms. It is now difficult to prevent patients who know they are sick from going to hospitals, work, and school, or from traveling further afield.
When I started identifying this problem in 1989, I was encountering one bacteria MRSA (Methicillin Resistant staphylococcus aureus) but now we have eighteen bacteria, numerous viruses, fungi and TB, spreading all over the world killing millions. No one believes what I am saying but wasting valuable time not preparing but promoting consultations and hospital visits.
I have come in contact with adults and children with very contagious infections including antibiotic resistant bacteria since 1980s but never contracted any. WHY? and HOW?
“Immunity”. since 2013, I have travelled all over India, Europe, South America and Asia trying to find out how I can find a product or method to boost immunity or make us stronger to defend ourself from superbug or emerging infections. I have not been successful but am convinced 7i, that appeared as a vision is the only option.
We must act now and spread this message so that people who hear and act are the ones who will be protected. Any person who identify infected person must be quickly isolated from family, friends and community to abort an epidemic and pandemics.
I am a defender of “Medical Ethics” because I believe its my duty as a doctor to protect human rights and dignity of the patients. Any person medically qualified doctor, nurse or other members of my profession has no right to inflict pain and suffering and must at all times “Do No Harm”.
Is to “Do Something” which A prudent man In similar situation “Will NOT DO” – is an “Act of commission” or Not Do Something Which A Prudent Man In Similar Situation “WILL DO” is “Act of omission”
“If a healthcare professional (doctor, nurse or healthcare worker) gives an antibiotic to a patient with what looks like a viral infection (I would not have prescribed antibiotics) or not give antibiotics when a patient had bacterial infection (I would have prescribed antibiotics), then the healthcare professional has been negligent”
A doctor who encourages patient to visit hospital, perform tests, performed procedures or surgery knowing the hospital is colonised with superbug is negligent because I as a doctor would not have advised patient to visit that hospital, requested blood tests, performed procedures or surgery.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), issued a statement listing 12 Bacteria that scientists must find NEW ANTIBIOTICS to treat. A dream that I do not think will be a reality. As a doctor it is our duty to help prevent spread of superbugs and so must act now to educate and share knowledge to protect humanity.
HOW ARE THE AUTHORITIES REACTING?
The response to this “21st Century Crisis” is political, not medical. Many governments have no strategies in place to prevent pandemics because they are unwilling to tell their people how infections spread. They don’t want to worry people with such talk; it will make them, they fear, unpopular. So governments may have mountains of bureaucracy with great heaps of rules and regulations concerning public health, but they are generally unwilling to trust their own citizens to use common sense on their own behalf. This, too, seems very strange.
Until now, no one has come forward to help us develop strategies to educate people how to identify and prevent the spread of infection to their families and communities. The majority of stakeholders have also been oblivious to the use of new technologies to help reduce the spread of these infections. There are some exceptions.
In a fun blog post called Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse, the CDC uses the threat of a zombie outbreak as a metaphor to encourage people to prepare for emergencies, including pandemics. It is well meaning and insightful, yet when my colleagues and I try to discuss ways of scaling up the CDC’s example with doctors and nurses, they shut down.
Nobody plans for an actual crisis partly because it is too scary and hence paralyzing to think about. But it is also because it is not most health professionals’ job; it is not what they are trained and paid to do. It is always someone else’s job, except that it has turned out to be nobody’s job.
Worse, the situation is not static. While we sit paralyzed, superbugs are evolving. Epidemiological models now predict how an algorithmic process of disease spread will move through the modern world. All urban centers around the entire globe can become infected within sixty days because we move around and cross borders much more than our ancestors did, thanks to air travel. A new pandemic could start crossing borders before we even know it exists. A flu-like disease could kill more than 33 million people in 250 days.3
All is not lost; there is some hope if we can stop the spread by quickly identifying infected people and isolate them. Even a much more rapid response must still rely on patients coming forward to say they have a symptom that may require investigation and treatment. We know from past experience that patients with serious symptoms are often in denial and ignore them until it’s too late; they avoid seeking help from doctors because they do not want their fears confirmed.
But we can conquer this problem, and we can do it without requiring the top-to-bottom reform of public health infrastructures that would take many years. I have developed a simple method to help people share information about symptoms, and it uses communication technology to monitor what’s going on and to offer advice and treatment.
Under my system, emergency operation centers, infectious disease control centers, and doctors are all informed after clusters of similar symptoms have been identified. This will help mobilize services to isolate infected individuals and prevent them from traveling to healthcare centers or hospital emergency rooms, thus spreading their infection to healthcare workers and the population at large.
Also, by enabling doctors to create a database of symptoms using their local language, we can protect healthcare workers and the general public. We have spent years developing and testing a tool that is easy to use and inexpensive to implement. Our hypothesis is simple: We must immediately stop over-using strong combinations of antibiotics and broad-spectrum antibiotics and instead focus on preventing infections from spreading locally.
My innovation, the free Dr MAYA app, can identify infected individuals early, manage basic healthcare, lower patient anxiety, and reduce consultation time, thereby stopping the spread of infection.
I originally created MAYA (Medical Advice You Access) to help receptionists and nurses in nurse-led clinics, walk-in clinics, and emergency after-hours services to differentiate merely unwell from seriously unwell patients—and to refer the latter to doctors or hospitals, if required. But the technology now allows us to do much more. Through the Dr MAYA mobile phone application, we can develop a monitoring system that identifies clusters of infections in hospitals, communities, towns, and even entire countries. Preventing patients with contagious diseases from visiting accident and emergency departments or clinics will protect the lives of doctors, nurses, and the general population. Hospitals must use Dr MAYA as a gatekeeper to prevent pandemics from occurring.
So how does it work in practice?
Let’s imagine that a person is feeling ill, and obviously he wants to know what is wrong with him. So he logs into the system where he enters his symptoms, just as you might call a medical receptionist to explain why you needs an appointment. Dr MAYA then evaluates the symptoms and advises the patient based on medical knowledge and experience. It does not give an ad hoc answer like many receptionists do, but responds using a database composed of medical information.
Patients will be directed not to call a doctor if the Dr MAYA system suggests they should instead go to a pharmacist or a nurse, or directly to a hospital. That will reduce time-wasting consultations for non-threatening symptoms like warts, athlete’s foot, allergic rashes, or fungal infections. Patients will be advised to call emergency numbers if their symptoms are very serious but non-infectious.
If the symptoms do indicate an infection, Dr MAYA will inform local infectious disease units to prevent the person from traveling and infecting others. Only patients who require clinical examination or specific tests will be advised to book an appointment, thus reducing emergency appointments by about 80 percent and allowing doctors to focus their time and expertise on patients who truly require face-to-face consultations.
By using Dr MAYA, patients will be able to access specialist information provided by their own doctor and communicate with healthcare professionals 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They can make appointments, arrange video consultations, send emails, and receive prescriptions. Dr MAYA can also be linked to hospital management systems, and we can help to digitize and systemize healthcare in hospitals, clinics, and government health departments.
Dr MAYA is a boon for doctors, because it will make their lives easier and help improve the care they offer to their patients. Additionally, they can forward referral letters and sick notes, and search for information using the internet while speaking to a patient.
And that’s not all: Patients can watch videos and see pictures, read information sheets to help manage common medical problems and reduce wasted consultations, save money, and decrease the incidence of cross-infections (sick people with different illnesses getting each other even sicker because of unnecessary contact).
By integrating Dr MAYA with the IT revolution, we have created the world’s first tool to help identify and monitor infections. Offering such a powerful way to help doctors communicate, manage their patients better, and reduce the costs of running their clinics and offices will encourage them to participate. Health departments, hospitals, airlines, healthcare service providers, and doctors can create their own portals and offer services to registered users. This tool could also reduce the number of receptionists, booking clerks, and “doctors’ assistants,” all of whom greatly inflate the cost of health care.
Dr MAYA can particularly help poorer countries because it can enable them to skip the time and expense of building already-obsolete medical communications systems. Dr MAYA can also be adapted to help people communicate during times of natural calamities and wars as well as pandemic disease threats.
My colleagues and I are offering Dr MAYA free as a humanitarian service to protect healthcare professionals and all our fellow human beings. We must act now to prevent and control the tsunami of superbugs and viruses that could wipe millions of people off the face of the planet.