In the news: WHO sounds the alarm on a gonorrhea superbug that is hard to treat and more

A wrap of health news over the past week.

New gonorrhea superbug

Antibiotic resistance has given rise to untreatable strains of gonorrhea and at least three people worldwide have been infected by such gonorrhea “superbugs”, the World Health Organisation said on Friday. Calling the situation “very, very serious”, the WHO has said that it is only a matter of time before even last-resort antibiotics start failing to treat the sexually transmitted disease.

“Gonorrhoea is a very smart bug,” said Teodora Wi, a human reproduction specialist at the Geneva-based U.N. health agency, speaking to news agencies about the imminent health crisis. “Every time you introduce a new type of antibiotic to treat it, this bug develops resistance to it.”

The WHO estimates that 78 million people are infected with gonorrhoea every year. The disease is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae and can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy and infertility. A gonorrhea infection also increases the risk of getting HIV.

The WHO’s Global Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme, which monitors drug-resistant gonorrhea, found widespread resistance of the bacterium to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin during 2009 to 2014 with 97% of countries that reported data having drug-resistant strains. Eighty one percent of countries reported resistance to azithromycin. The emergence of resistance to what is now used as last-resort treatment – the extended-spectrum cephalosporins or ESCs (ESCs) – was 66%.

While India does not have a very high burden of gonorrhea, there is a large and growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

WHO officials have said that global control of gonorrhea will require new tools and systems for better prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Specifically, they have called for the development of new antibiotics and a vaccine to prevent gonorrhea. In the meantime, they advocate safe sexual practices and the use of condoms to contain the spread of the disease.

Kerala nurses’ strike

Five associations of healthcare providers in Kerala have asked nurses to hold off on their strike planned for July 11 saying that the strike would force private hospitals to discharge patients sooner than is advisable and refrain from admitting new patients. Private hospitals provide about 70% of healthcare services Kerala. Kerala has also been in the grips of a fever epidemic with a large number of swine flu and dengue cases being reported in the state

The joint statement was made by the Association of Healthcare Providers of India-Kerala, the Kerala Private Hospital Association, the Association of Advanced Speciality Healthcare Institutions, Qualified Private Medical Practitioners Association and Catholic Healthcare Association Of India, which together represent most of the private hospitals in the state.

The plea from the associations comes after 10 days of protest by nurses across the state demanding better wages. Nurses associations have held relay protests in five districts including Kannur, Thrissur, Ernakulam and Thiruvanthapuram.

The hospital associations claimed that most of the hospitals in the state complied with the statutory norms on wages and that they were sympathetic towards the need for a reasonable wage revision for the nurses. “All hospital associations have been actively collaborating with the state government/industrial relations committee to arrive at the revised minimum wages,” the statement said.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Why should inclusion matter to companies?

It's not just about goodwill - inclusivity is a good business decision.

To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Creating a sense of belonging for everyone is essential for a company’s success. Let’s look at some of the real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

Better decision making

A whitepaper by Cloverpop, a decision making tool, established a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. The research discovered that teams that followed an inclusive decision-making process made decisions 2X faster with half the meetings and delivered 60% better results. As per Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, this report highlights how diversity and inclusion are practical tools to improve decision making in companies. According to her, changing the composition of decision making teams to include different perspectives can help individuals overcome biases that affect their decisions.

Higher job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


A research by stated the in India, 62% of innovation is driven by employee perceptions of inclusion. The study included responses from 1,500 employees from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States and showed that employees who feel included are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, suggest new and innovative ways of getting work done.

Competitive Advantage

Shirley Engelmeier, author of ‘Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage’, in her interview with Forbes, talks about the new global business normal. She points out that the rapidly changing customer base with different tastes and preferences need to feel represented by brands. An inclusive environment will future-proof the organisation to cater to the new global consumer language and give it a competitive edge.

An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

In a video titled ‘She rises’, Accenture captures the importance of implementing diverse policies and creating an inclusive workplace culture.


To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.