Antimicrobial-resistant diseases can consume millions of lives

A worst-case scenario developed by the World Bank has suggested that this figure could rise to 10 million deaths every year by 2050, if no action is taken.

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HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The UN in its latest report says alarming levels of resistance have been reported in countries of all income levels.
  • The UN highlights that misuse and overuse of existing antimicrobials in humans, animals and plants are accelerating the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance.
  • The World Bank also forecasts that by 2030, up to 24 million people could be forced into extreme poverty, mainly in low-income countries.
  • Governments, civil societies and the private sector should also engage and collaborate in an unprecedented effort across the human, animal, plant, food and feed production and environmental sectors.

Antimicrobial resistance is a global crisis that threatens a century of progress in health and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), says the United Nations in its latest report ‘No Time to Wait: Securing the Future from Drug-Resistant Infections. With every innovative drug and medicine, the human body loses the ability to fight dangerous infectious. And this is turning out to be somewhat of a crisis as we become drug-resistant. This is something to be alarmed about.

The report says alarming levels of resistance have been reported in countries of all income levels, with the result that common diseases are becoming untreatable and lifesaving medical procedures riskier to perform.

The report said “Antimicrobial resistance poses a formidable challenge to achieving Universal Health Coverage and threatens progress against many of the SDGs, including in health, food security, clean water and sanitation, responsible consumption and production, poverty and inequality.”

The UN highlights that misuse and overuse of existing antimicrobials in humans, animals and plants are accelerating the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance.

“Inadequate access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities, farms, schools, households and community settings; poor infection and disease prevention; lack of equitable access to affordable and quality-assured antimicrobials, vaccines and diagnostics; and weak health, food and feed production, food safety and waste management systems are increasing the burden of infectious disease in animals and humans and contributing to the emergence and spread of drug-resistant pathogens”, it said.

However, the report also says that the true magnitude of antimicrobial resistance in humans is not fully known, but estimates suggest that it causes about 700,000 deaths every year.

“A worst-case scenario developed by the World Bank has suggested that this figure could rise to 10 million deaths every year by 2050, if no action is taken”, the report added.

The World Bank also forecasts that by 2030, up to 24 million people could be forced into extreme poverty, mainly in low-income countries, and annual economic damage as a result of antimicrobial resistance could be comparable to the shocks.

The UN recommends stronger political leadership, advocacy, coordination and accountability at all levels to enable a sustained One Health response to antimicrobial resistance. Governments, civil societies and the private sector should also engage and collaborate in an unprecedented effort across the human, animal, plant, food and feed production and environmental sectors.

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Antimicrobial-resistant diseases can consume millions of lives
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A worst-case scenario developed by the World Bank has suggested that this figure could rise to 10 million deaths every year by 2050, if no action is taken.
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The Policy Times