Coordinated action needed to tackle antimicrobial resistance

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Antibiotic resistance (AMR) is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. The fight against this threat is a public health priority which requires a comprehensive intersectoral collaborative approach. This requires urgent multisectoral action in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared AMR to be one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.

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AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites change over time and become unresponsive to medications, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spreading, serious illness, and of deceased. The misuse and overuse of antimicrobials are the main drivers of the development of drug resistant pathogens. In addition, the lack of clean water and sanitation and inadequate prevention and control of infections promote the spread of microbes, some of which may be resistant to antimicrobial treatment.

The cost of RAM to the economy is significant. In addition to death and disability, prolonged illness leads to longer hospital stays, the need for more expensive drugs, and financial challenges for those affected.

According to the World Bank, 700,000 people die from AMR every year. Without action, the death toll could increase further, up to 10 million deaths per year by 2050. Due to drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs become ineffective and infections become more difficult or impossible to process.

Every year, from November 18 to 24, is celebrated World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW). The 2021 theme, Raise awareness, stop resistance, calls on stakeholders, policy makers, healthcare providers and the general public to be champions of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) awareness.

Among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity, maternal infections and sepsis account for at least 11% of maternal deaths. Most maternal infections and their repercussions can be avoided through the implementation of appropriate practices, prenatal screening and the use of antibiotics.

In addition, resistance to antifungals is becoming an important public health problem around the world. Antifungal drugs currently on the market are frequently associated with serious side effects. Few new drugs are in development. Other conditions are usually made worse by fungal infections.

The serious consequences of mucormycosis and invasive aspergillosis during the COVID-19 pandemic recently demonstrated this. This event will present the World Health Organization (WHO) solution to the problem, including the creation of a global list of priority fungal infections with public health implications.

This year’s event examined how selected technologies, such as related diagnostics and AMR (antimicrobial resistance) management, can support the appropriate use of antimicrobial drugs and how they can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Relevant United Nations (UN) SDGs and associated targets.

This year, an event was also held to shed light on the Quick Guide and Toolkit on Customizing Antimicrobial Resistance (APR) Programs recently developed by the WHO Regional Office for Europe.

Through a behavioral analysis approach, these technologies attempt to strengthen efforts to fight antibiotic resistance. The TAP Quick Guide is a practical, step-by-step approach to designing and implementing a targeted behavior modification intervention to address antimicrobial resistance factors for human and animal health.

The HIV Drug Resistance Report 2021 was launched as part of Global Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2021. It aimed to raise awareness of the burden of HIV drug resistance and called for an end to HIV drug resistance. HIV drug resistance by implementing a comprehensive prevention and response approach involving all stakeholders as outlined in the WHO global action plan to prevent, monitor and respond to HIV drug resistance .

Common diseases will become incurable as antimicrobial resistance increases, unless the world takes coordinated action in the areas of human, animal, plant and environmental health. Therefore, it is necessary to act immediately. Civil society has a critical role to play in mobilizing different stakeholders, including governments, donors, academia and the general public, to take action.


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