SWITZERLAND — The Quadripartite, a group made up of experts from the United Nations body has launched a new platform to tackle the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threat to human and animal health and ecosystems called the Antimicrobial Resistance Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Platform.
The partnership brings together four UN bodies namely: the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UN Environment Program (UNEP), and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH).
The platform will take a One Health approach to confronting the challenges of bacterial AMR, which causes 1.3 million deaths worldwide each year, and AMR in livestock and other animals, on which 1.3 billion people rely on for income, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
If no action is taken, that number could soar dramatically, bringing higher public health costs and pushing more people into poverty, especially in low-income countries, underscoring the need for the Platform to mobilize further coordinated efforts.
But overuse and misuse have reduced their efficacy, with more pathogens developing the ability to survive the antimicrobials designed to eliminate them.
AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites no longer respond to antimicrobial agents. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents become ineffective and infections become difficult or impossible to treat, increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death.
The spread of resistant strains of pathogens inexorably affects their livelihoods, as it increases animal suffering and losses.
Applications to crops, as well as improper disposal of unused and expired drugs and waste from industries and communities can lead to pollution of soils and streams that spread the trigger for unwanted microorganisms to develop resistance to tools meant to contain and eliminate them.
The platform will attempt to bring stakeholders together and on task to combat and reverse AMR in line with the Global Action Plan and National Action Plans previously published by the WHO.
FAO Director-General QU Dongyu stated that countries around the world need to come together to prevent drug-resistant diseases and reduce its implications.
UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen pointed out that climate crisis and antimicrobial resistance are two of the greatest and most complex threats facing the world now.
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus believes that the new platform will help to drive global coordination for a more strategic, resource-efficient, and sustainable collective response to AMR.
WOAH Director General Monique Eloit stated that the world can get ahead of AMR with the right partnerships and collaborative models., and “the time to act is now.”
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is celebrated from 18 to 24 November every year to increase public awareness about AMR. This year, it is celebrated with the theme “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together.”