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Conference discusses global targets in fight against antimicrobial resistance

World Health Organization reports show AMR is one of the top ten threats to global health

AMR

The Third Global High-Level Ministerial Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance has concluded, with targets to address the global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) challenge being discussed for the first time.

AMR develops when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change and adapt to antibiotics over time, making them more resistant to drug treatments. As a result, infections become harder to treat and the risk of severe illness and death increases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that AMR is one of the top ten threats to global health, causing 1.3 million deaths in 2019 alone from bacterial AMR.

The conference, which marked the conclusion of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) 2022 and its targets for antimicrobial use, hopes to 'pave the way' for political commitments at the forthcoming UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AMR in 2024.

Included in the global targets are plans to preserve critically important antimicrobials for human use, and ensure ‘access’ group antibiotics – a category of antibiotics that are affordable, safe and have a low AMR risk – represent at least 60% of overall antibiotic consumption by 2030.

Commitments were also made to implement ‘National Action Plans’ for AMR and strengthen surveillance through improved data reporting and management, private sector engagement and implementation of evidence-based practices.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said: "AMR is one of the most urgent and complex challenges of our time, and yet perhaps because it is not as dramatic as a pandemic, a war or a humanitarian emergency, it doesn’t attract the same attention.

"It is my firm hope that this meeting will pave the way towards bold – and concrete – political commitments at the 2024 UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AMR."

The theme of WAAW 2022, which ran from 18-24 November this year, was ‘Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together’, calling for collaboration across all sectors to preserve the efficacy of antimicrobials and to strengthen preventive measures addressing AMR.

To get involved, people were encouraged to ‘go blue for AMR’, a colour campaign introduced during WAAW last year, and wear blue during WAAW events, as well as share their experiences of AMR and ways to prevent it.

A series of virtual events also took place throughout the week, including WHO’s ‘Back to the future: inspiring the next generation on hand hygiene’ webinar, highlighting the importance of hand hygiene to reduce infection and AMR in healthcare settings.

Article by
Emily Kimber

28th November 2022

From: Healthcare

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