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• The United Nations Foundation has partnered with food, agricultural, and environmental organizations to use a collaborative approach to address the global threat of antimicrobial resistance.
• What is the role of donors in providing support and capital to fight global problems?
• Rea more about the threat of antimicrobial resistance.
At the United Nations General Assembly in September 2016, all 193 UN Member States committed to supporting the efforts to curb the spread of infections resistant to antibiotics.
Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR, is perhaps one of the most complex and potentially devastating health and economic threats of our time, estimated to kill 10 million people per year and to cause an annual decline of 1.1%-3.8% in global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2050 if not quickly addressed.
One outcome of the UN high-level meeting was a pledge for more coordinated action, and in March 2017, the UN established the Interagency Coordination Group (IACG) on AMR, a group of UN officials, government representatives, and public health experts tasked with defining a clear path forward.
The challenge is now to turn these political declarations into actions, said Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health of South Africa. Many countries have already begun to do so; 79 countries had developed National Action Plans with a further 49 in development, covering over 90% of the world’s population. But countries must take steps to implement these plans and to build their primary health care systems, with a focus on prevention, in order to combat the rise of superbugs.
The challenge of AMR serves as an “opportunity to unite health, agriculture, and environmental concerns in collaborative global action,” explained Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in her keynote address. She gave the example of Cambodia, where strengthened collaboration between the health and agriculture ministries led to increased awareness of AMR and more prudent use of antimicrobials across sectors. FAO is working with WHO and OIE, the World Organization for Animal Health, to help tackle AMR using a One Health approach.
Read the full article about antimicrobial resistance by Kate Dodson at United Nations Foundation.
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