Dame Sally Davies, UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance, and Victoria Rutter, Executive Director of the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association, emphasise the urgent need for effective antimicrobial stewardship to tackle the complex global problem of antimicrobial resistance, and highlight examples of effective stewardship in the Commonwealth.
“Investment from the UK is intended to help countries develop their capacity to tackle AMR, improve global surveillance, and foster international research and development collaborations.”
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is recognised to be one of the greatest global health security threats this century. A review commissioned by the UK government attributed 700,000 deaths per year to AMR, and predicted that this could escalate to ten million by 2050 without prompt and appropriate action. While AMR is a natural phenomenon (bacteria evolve to survive), inappropriate use of (particularly broad spectrum) antibiotics has accelerated this process and threatens to leave our current antibiotic armoury ineffective, returning us to the pre-antibiotic era. This issue is magnified significantly in lower resource settings.
AMR is a serious and complex global problem. International partners need to share their work and innovative approaches to tackling this global health threat with relevant stakeholders, to speed the development of effective interventions.
The UK raised the profile of AMR on the global agenda by working with partners to secure commitment to a global action plan in 2014, and the subsequent historical political declaration on AMR at the UN in 2016. This declaration was signed by all 54 countries of the Commonwealth. As of 2017-18, 51 per cent of Commonwealth countries had a national action plan in place; 25 per cent had a national action plan in development; and six per cent had no action plan for AMR…
Dame Sally Davies
UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance