Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - post-antibiotic era is a very real possibility for the 21st century.

Following the publication of a WHO global report on AMR surveillance, the world ministers of health and agriculture met to discuss ways to face the challenges posed by the threat of AMR.

WHO Global report on surveillance

In April 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a global report on surveillance regarding Antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

This report, produced in collaboration with WHO Member States and other partners, provides for the first time, as accurate a picture as is presently possible of the magnitude of AMR and the current state of surveillance globally.

The report makes a clear case that resistance to common bacteria has reached alarming levels in many parts of the world and that in some settings, few, if any, of the available treatments options remain effective for common infections. Another important finding of the report is that surveillance of antibacterial resistance is neither coordinated nor harmonized and there are many gaps in information on bacteria of major public health importance.

The main report outcomes:

  • high proportions of resistance were reported in all regions to common treatments for bacteria causing infections in both healthcare settings and in the community;
  • Treatment options for common infections are running out;
  • Despite limitations, the report demonstrates worldwide magnitude of AMR and surveillance gaps. 

Please find hereafter the links to the WHO’s Full Report, Summary and Slide set

Joining forces against Antimicrobial resistance

Following the publication of the above mentioned report, a high level meeting of ministers of health and agriculture from different world regions together with the Directors-General of WHO, OIE and FAO took place in the Netherlands on 25-26 June 2014 to discuss ways to face the challenges posed by the threat of AMR.

All together, they acknowledged the need of a common action against AMR, involving both human health and agricultural policies. Discussions outlined the shared willingness to design it as a stepwise approach, allowing the reduction in prevalence of antimicrobial resistance without endangering food supply and economical system.

'The animal health sector must not be considered as a scapegoat on the AMR issue', explained the OIE DG, Dr Vallat. 'However, it has a key role to play to avoid the disaster scenario of a world without efficient antibiotics in animals and humans. For this, specific and harmonised training of the veterinarians worldwide, strong link with the farmers and strengthening of the Veterinary Statutory bodies are indispensable. Veterinarians are not the problem; they are part of the solution.' Read more…..

Antimicrobial Resistance- We Are All Part of the Solution

With regards to the above mentioned International Governmental meeting, the WVA Vice President and the chair of the WVA Policies and Positions Committee, Dr Duane Landals said that this meeting needs to be viewed as a very positive step in bringing the human and veterinary sides of the debate together to look for a common solution to a threat that is shared by all.

However, in my opinion, there is one glaring omission in the attendance list. If we are to be successful in developing the necessary standards of antimicrobial stewardship and responsible use, we need to make sure the people that actually prescribe and use these products are at the table. In most jurisdictions health care professionals are self-governing through an autonomous statutory or regulatory body. These are the organizations that develop and enforce standards of practice for their members.

It would be nice to see the World Veterinary Organization (WVA) and the World Medical Association (WMA) have an opportunity to contribute to future meetings on this important subject. They represent organizations that are made up of individuals who engage in medical practice at the patient level. It does not matter if the patient is a human, an animal or a population of either, the role of the medical practitioner is the one that will see implementation of policy and legislation regarding antimicrobial use. Ultimately it is practitioners that will be required to resolve the complex issue of AMR.

Read more….

Source: WHO Website, OIE Website and Duane Landals Blog