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Experts Push For One Health Approach on Antimicrobial Resistance

2 Min Read

Kigali is hosting a high-level event comprised of world leaders and experts from across sectors working together to accelerate political action on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) based on the One Health approach.

Antimicrobial Resistance (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.

According to these group of leaders on AMR, “with the resultant drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.”

They argued that Antimicrobial Resistance has become a global concern.

The emergence and spread of drug-resistant pathogens that have acquired new resistance mechanisms, leading to antimicrobial resistance, continues to threaten our ability to treat common infections. Especially alarming is the rapid global spread of multi- and pan-resistant bacteria (also known as “superbugs”) that cause infections that are not treatable with existing antimicrobial medicines such as antibiotics.

New antibacterials are urgently needed. However, if people do not change the way antibiotics are used now, these new antibiotics will suffer the same fate as the current ones and become ineffective.

The cost of AMR to national economies and their health systems is significant as it affects productivity of patients or their caretakers through prolonged hospital stays and the need for more expensive and intensive care.

According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus the Director-General of the World Health Organization, “AntimicrobialResistance leads to 5 million deaths every year. We must: protect the antimicrobials we have, invest in surveillance & Research & Development for new antibiotics, and improve waste management.”