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Global call for integrated action to tackle antimicrobial resistance

The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) has called on all governments, industry, NGOs, health professionals, public and private research organizations to tackle the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Antimicrobial drugs have played a key role in both prevention and curing infections. However, overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in humans, animals, and agriculture; gaps in infection prevention and control; lack of quality medicines; and inadequate investments in new drug development may place the breakthroughs in the treatment of infectious diseases over the past 50 years, in peril.

The Federation, that has been promoting global health for over 50 years, is urging stakeholders in health to ensure that public health remains at the center of all policy and scientific endeavors. WFPHA in a May 22, 2018 press release proposes the establishment of antibiotic efficacy “as a global public good”.

This is one of the key issues tabled in a one-day workshop on the sidelines of this year’s World Health Assembly (the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO)) taking place in Geneva, Switzerland. The workshop will facilitate a transparent discourse on the current public health policies and activities on AMR in a global context by addressing the reality of healthcare systems and public health practice.

“The last thing we need is to go backward in terms of protecting the world from infection. AMR is one of our greatest challenges in protecting our people worldwide. Integrating all stakeholders to strengthen institutional strategies is essential to face antimicrobial resistance and develop sustainable health practices.” said Michael Moore former president of the WFPHA.

The WHO has listed AMR as one of its top priorities. Effective health services are essential to facilitate ongoing prevention, protection, and health promotion strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of AMR.

Dr. Manica Balasegaram, Director of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP), one of the workshops’ keynote speakers said, “Developing new treatments to tackle AMR in isolation jeopardizes the public health return on investment of developing accessible treatments. It’s important to move away from working in silos and find ways of bringing together science, policy and public health if we are to successfully address the challenges of AMR.”

The WFPHA is an international, nongovernmental organization composed of over 120 associations’ member, mostly multidisciplinary national public health associations, and representing around 5 million public health professionals worldwide. It is the only worldwide professional society representing and serving the broad field of public health.

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