NEW: Antimicrobial resistance a global health threat

24 Nov, 2022 - 15:11 0 Views
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The Sunday Mail

Phillipa Mukome-Chinhoi

ANTIMICROBIAL resistance (AMR) is increasingly becoming a global health and development threat, resulting in at least 1,2 million deaths across the globe each year.

AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines, making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

Speaking at the 2nd Annual Global Media Forum, leading up to World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2022 (WAAW 2022), Global Coordination and Partnership on AMR director, Dr Haileyesus Getahun, said:

“The climate crisis and antimicrobial resistance are two of the greatest and most complex threats currently facing the world.

“The dual threat of the climate crisis and antimicrobial resistance will have the most devastating impacts on low and middle-income countries and small island developing nations.

“The links between antimicrobial resistance and the climate crisis have been neglected and require significantly more attention.”

Dr Getahun said more financing, political advocacy and coordinated global action are needed to better respond to the converging threats of antimicrobial resistance and the climate crisis before it is too late.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) senior animal health officer and AMR coordinator, Junxia Song, said AMR will directly or indirectly adversely impact a range of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We must ensure that food and agriculture sectors, dependent livelihoods, and economies are made resilient to the impacts of antimicrobial resistance.

“United Nations FAO Action Plan on AMR (2021-2025) calls upon strengthening governance and allocating resources to accelerate and sustain progress in containing AMR, promoting responsible use to keep antimicrobials working, strengthening surveillance and research to support evidence-based decisions, and enabling good practices to prevent infections and control the spread of resistant microbes,” Junxia said.

This year’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week was running under the theme: “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together.”

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