Antimicrobial resistance:
a silent pandemic

Effective antimicrobials, particularly antibiotics, are cornerstones of modern health systems and societies. However, they are now in jeopardy due to the emergence and spread of drug-resistant microorganisms in humans, animals and the environment which are no longer affected by medication that once killed them. This is referred to as antimicrobial resistance, or “AMR”.

Alarming rates of AMR have now been identified and continue to increase all over the world. The consequences are evident in all countries regardless of income status, but are greatest for low- and middle-income countries.

Antimicrobials are essential for treating and preventing infections in humans, animals and plants, and for enabling fundamental and lifesaving medical interventions. Since the groundbreaking discovery of penicillin in 1928, modern medicine has thrived and penicillin alone has saved millions of lives worldwide. Antibiotics have contributed to an extended life expectancy in all parts of the world. A world without effective antimicrobials is a threat to life as we know it.

The Independent O’Neill Review estimated that over 700,000 people died in 2016 due to antimicrobial resistance, and projected this to rise to 10 million by 2050 – more deaths than cancer and diabetes today combined. In 2017, a report from the World Bank predicted that the economic impact will be bigger than the financial crisis of 2008/9 as it will last longer, increase inequalities within countries and impact low and middle income countries the most.

If we are to have a chance at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the COVID-19 pandemic must be leveraged to increase the world’s determination to mitigate AMR.

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To achieve sustainable change in LMICs, we invite other countries and foundations to join us as Founding or Supporting members, in a truly international effort to mitigate antimicrobial resistance.

Please do not hesitate to contact our Team for further information.

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