Interagency report calls for urgent action to avert AMR crisis

07 May 2019

Article: 53/1803

The United Nations (UN), international agencies and experts have released a report demanding coordinated action to avert a potentially disastrous drug-resistance crisis.

The UN Interagency Coordinating Group (IACG) on antimicrobial resistance (AMR)  warn that if no action is taken, drug-resistant diseases could cause up to 10 million deaths each year by 2050, cause damage to economies and possibly force up to 24 million people into poverty as soon as 2030. 

At least 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases including 230,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Common diseases including respiratory tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections are becoming less treatable. There are also consequences for lifesaving medical procedures and food systems. 

The IACG argue that without investment from all countries, future generations will face the impacts of uncontrolled AMR.

Recognizing that human, animal, food and environmental health are closely interconnected, the report calls for a coordinated multi-sectoral ‘One Health’ approach. 

It recommends that countries:

  • prioritize national action plans to scale-up financing and capacity-building efforts 
  • put in place stronger regulatory systems and support awareness programs for responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials by professionals in human, animal and plant health 
  • invest in ambitious research and development for new technologies to combat AMR 
  • urgently phase out the use of critically important antimicrobials as growth promoters in agriculture

Source: WHO, 29 April 2019