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21 сентября 2016, 18:48

UN Meeting to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance

During the 2016 UN meeting, heads of state will meet with representatives from human and veterinary medicine, agriculture, finance, environment and other health experts to discuss the root of the problem with antimicrobial resistance.
According to the UN press release, the primary objective of the meeting is to “summon and maintain strong national, regional, and international commitment to addressing antimicrobial resistance comprehensively and multi-sectorally and to increase and improve awareness of antimicrobial resistance.” The goal is to develop a declaration that will go before the full assembly to be adopted as a resolution.
Antimicrobial resistance is a significant global health threat and emerging economic concern.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized AMR as one of the biggest threats to global health and human development. Antimicrobial resistance kills 700,000 people worldwide each year, and the number could reach 10 million per year by 2050. Clearly, these estimates raise this issue to the level of a ‘global health threat’.
As an economic issue, antimicrobial resistance can have devastating impact on direct and indirect costs. In addition to the increased health care and hospital costs, lost productivity from longer hospital stays and increased sick days from illness can have staggering impacts on the economy.
So should we raise the red flag of alarm or the white flag of surrender?
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms (e.g. bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites) mutate after they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals among others. Over time, these medications become less effective in the body, resulting in prolonged illness, increased risk of spreading the disease to others, disability and even death.
As we evolve, genetic changes can cause antimicrobial resistance to occur naturally over time. However, the growing concern is about the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials which appear to accelerate this process. Medical and public health experts have long since raised the red flag warning the public about the dangers of misuse and overuse of antibiotics in humans, animals and fish.

Yet the problem is getting worse. Antimicrobial resistance is already present in nearly every country. treatment resistance to life-threatening infections such as tuberculosis, E. coli, Staphlylococcus aureus and K. pneumoniae (a common intenstinal bacterial that can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections, newborn infections and other hospital-acquired infections) is already widespread in many countries. In fact, people with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphlylococcus aureus) are 64% more likely to die than people with the non-resistant form of the infection.
Building a global plan of action and gaining the political momentum

The urgent need for a high level meeting at the United Nations comes after global health organizations and government agencies and non-governmental organizations develop action plans to combat this complex problem. In 2015, WHO adopted a Global Action Plan that called for improving awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance through education, increased research and surveillance, and greater sustainable investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools and vaccines, among other interventions.
Amidst growing concerns about the potential impact on the US economy, in 2014 the Obama administration released the National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. The plan outlines a national strategy to enhance the capacity to prevent and contain outbreaks of antibiotic resistant infections. This came after data from the Centers for Disease control and Prevention estimated that antimicrobial resistance kills 23,000 people and causes 2 million illnesses each year.
Leaders from the G7 industrialized nations and G20 group of developing nations have also convened meetings and agreed that antimicrobial resistance is a global priority. They are also developing plans that would require essential actions be taken to combat this present and emerging threat.
So what’s next? We know the scope of the problem and the magnitude of the threat. We don’t need more resolutions or plans. What is needed now are concrete action steps that can be readily implemented by the domestic and international communities, backed by a significant investment by the global leaders. Is this what the UN resolution will propose? I certainly hope so.

Source: http://www.dailytech.com/UN+Meeting+to+Tackle+Antimicrobial+Resistance/article37638.htm