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Montevideo, November 27th 2022 - 04:33 UTC

 

 

Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Week, misuse and overuse of antibiotics threaten humans and animals

Monday, November 21st 2022 - 10:02 UTC
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An estimated 1,3 million people around the world die each year directly due to bacterial antimicrobial resistance, AMR. An estimated 1,3 million people around the world die each year directly due to bacterial antimicrobial resistance, AMR.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, the UN Environment Program, UNEP, the World Health Organization, WHO, and the World Organization for Animal Health, OIE, known as the Quadripartite are joining forces on the initiative to underscore the threat Antimicrobial Resistance, AMR, presents to humans, animals, plants, ecosystems, and livelihoods.

 An estimated 1,3 million people around the world die each year directly due to bacterial antimicrobial resistance, AMR, If no action is taken, that number could soar dramatically, bringing higher public health costs and pushing more people into poverty, especially in low-income countries, underscoring the need for the Platform to mobilize further coordinated efforts.

Antibiotics and other antimicrobials play a key role in the success of modern medicine and have greatly improved the health of humans and animals. But overuse and misuse has reduced their efficacy, with more pathogens developing the ability to survive the antimicrobials designed to eliminate them.

AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites no longer respond to antimicrobial agents. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents become ineffective and infections become difficult or impossible to treat, increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. Moreover, 1.3 billion people rely on livestock for their livelihoods and 20 million people depend on aquaculture, especially in low and middle-income countries. The spread of resistant strains of pathogens inexorably affects their livelihoods, as it increases animal suffering and losses. Applications to crops, as well as improper disposal of unused and expired drugs and waste from industries and communities can lead to pollution of soils and streams that spread the trigger for unwanted microorganisms to develop resistance to tools meant to contain and eliminate them.

The new Antimicrobial Resistance Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Platform is an inclusive and international forum bringing together voices from all areas, sectors and perspectives through a holistic and system-wide One Health approach, for a shared vision responding to the need to improve coordination of efforts by a large number of stakeholders.

“Antimicrobial resistance threatens animal health, food safety and food security, economic prosperity and ecosystems worldwide,” said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu. “The world needs to join forces now to prevent drug-resistant diseases and reduce its implications.”

UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen said, “The climate crisis and AMR are two of the greatest and most complex threats the world currently faces. Both have been worsened by and can be improved with human action.

“This platform will be vital in raising the profile and urgency of addressing AMR while building and maintaining political momentum and public support,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros

As drug-resistant infections can affect anyone, anywhere, public health, agrifood systems and ecosystems everywhere are at risk. Tackling AMR is a shared responsibility for all of us, which is why the theme of this year’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, starting today, is “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together”.

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