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World Leaders Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance at UN General Assembly Meeting

SEP 26, 2016 | EINAV KEET
Delegates at the meeting acknowledged that the inappropriate use and over-prescription of antimicrobial drugs greatly contribute to the problem of AMR. The declaration drafted at the meeting emphasizes that drug resistance threatens decades of steady progress in public health around the world, especially in the reduction of illnesses and deaths caused by infectious diseases. The world leaders attending the meeting recalled commitments to fighting malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, Ebola, and other epidemics particularly facing developing countries. Such outbreaks are made that much more challenging to treat and control in the face of drug resistance, and can thwart sustainable development goals.
The threat of AMR could have dire consequences, agreed meeting delegates, and without global cooperation we could see devastating social, economic, and public health impacts.
Using WHO’s Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance as their blueprint for tackling these pathogens, the UN General Assembly set down some important new commitments at their recent meeting on AMR. WHO plan zeroes in on five strategic objectives: improving awareness and on AMR through communication, education and training; strengthening knowledge and evidence through surveillance and research; reducing the incidence of infection with effective sanitation, hygiene, and prevention; optimizing the use of antimicrobial medicine in humans and animals; and developing an economic case and increasing investment in new medicines, vaccines, and diagnostic tools.
While the declaration did not set specific target numbers for increasing spending or reducing antibiotic use and infection rates, adopting this plan cements a worldwide commitment to tackling a shared threat with a sense of urgency. With coordination assistance from the WHO, it is now on individual nations to implement their plans for taking on AMR.
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