It’s Time to Repurpose the Global Fund to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

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According to a complete evaluation of bacterial AMR published in The Lancet, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a significant cause of mortality worldwide, with a burden likely to be greater than HIV or malaria.

The numbers given in this research are startling: drug-resistant bacterial illnesses were responsible for the deaths of 495 million individuals in 2019.

AMR directly caused 127 million deaths

The report contains estimates for 204 nations and territories for the first time and statistics on the regional consequences of AMR.
This research also provides information on the AMR burden for 23 bacterial pathogens—Escherichia coli is responsible for the most fatalities—and 88 pathogen–drug combinations, with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus causing the most deaths.

These new results are critical for informing local policy choices and therapeutic practice.

AMR has Long Been Identified as a Threat

And the steps needed to combat AMR—raising public awareness, improving surveillance, improving diagnostics, using antibiotics more wisely, improving access to clean water and sanitation, and investing in new antimicrobials and vaccines

All of this has been consistently recommended in reports such as The Lancet Infectious Diseases Commission on Antibiotic Resistance in 2013 and the O’Neill report in 2016.

During the last decade, there have been several notable replies.
WHO created the Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Use Surveillance System in 2015.

The Fleming Fund (an assistance initiative that assists 24 African and Asian nations in combating AMR) was launched in 2015.
G7 Finance Ministers made comments in December 2021 to assist antibiotic development.

However, activity has been episodic and inconsistent, resulting in global AMR disparities.

According to the current research, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have the most significant burden of AMR, which is likely due to high infection rates and a lack of access to medicines, exacerbated by significant data gaps.

The rate of innovation has been exceedingly sluggish.

Only one of the six significant pathogens reported in the research has a vaccine.

The clinical pipeline for antibiotics is insufficient to combat the growing development and spread of AMR.

A lot of research has been done to define the AMR issue, but not enough has been done to examine the answers or how to influence the political discussion.

National Leaders Now Must Prioritize AMR on Their Political Agendas

Research activities should be intensified to solve knowledge and innovation gaps, as well as to influence policy and practices.

It is critical to guarantee that people have access to efficient antibiotics.
Above all, AMR must be seen as a global problem requiring a globally coordinated response based on a One Health concept.

AMR has too frequently been considered as an unstructured threat to health, a possible source of sickness and death in the future. This method of thinking makes it simple to dismiss.
However, recent thorough estimates suggest that AMR is now killing a huge number of individuals.

The dangers of AMR are still with us today. Because of antibiotic abuse and lengthy hospital stays, the COVID-19 pandemic may exacerbate the issue of AMR.
This reality necessitates a rapid increase in AMR-related initiatives.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria will conduct its Seventh Replenishment Meeting later this year.

In addition, 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of The Global Fund’s creation. Now is the time to go through its primary objective again.

The Fund was formed to invest in programs to eradicate infectious illnesses that are the leading cause of sickness and death worldwide, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

It has shown to be a very successful tool for safeguarding vulnerable people from illnesses that are both preventable and curable.

The current burden of AMR and its future danger should serve as an urge to update and broaden The Global Fund’s purpose.

It is now time for the Fund to accept AMR as a primary responsibility.

FIND OUT MORE: Antibiotic-Resistant Diseases are ‘Major Global Health Threat’ Linked to the Deaths of Millions, Studies Warn

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.