This year, Global AMR Awareness Weekwhich will take place from November 18-24, will focus on the urgent actions needed to end antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites no longer respond to the active ingredients, or antimicrobial agents, in the medications used to treat them. When antibiotics (used to treat bacterial infections) and other antimicrobial agents become ineffective, infections become difficult or impossible to treat, increasing the risk of disease spread, serious illness, and death.
AMR contributes to nearly 5 million human deaths each year due to bacterial infections alone. This, coupled with the low level of investment in research and development of new antimicrobials, has led the WHO to highlight AMR as a major problem. of the Top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.
The main driver of AMR – which threatens humans, animals, plants and the environment – is the misuse and excessive use of antimicrobials, both in human health and in food production. To guide the urgent actions needed, many countries have developed multi-sectoral AMR National Action Plans (NAPs). Newly released annual report data Self-Assessment Survey on AMR Monitoring in Countries, which monitor the implementation of country NAPs, show that while 93% of countries have established NAPs on RAM and 68% are implementing some elements of their plans, only 27% of countries have a costed NAP and budgeted, including a monitoring and evaluation framework, and only 11% of countries have made financial provisions to support AMR NAPs in their national budget. There is an urgent need to strengthen AMR governance and leadership in countries, as well as provide additional financial and technical support to countries to develop, prioritize, implement and monitor their NAPs.
To improve the use of antimicrobials in humans globally, WHO has developed the Antibiotics Book Access, Watch, Reserve (AWaRe). The publication contains evidence-based advice on optimal treatment for more than 30 common infections, including when antibiotics are not necessary. WHO continues to work with countries on how best to adapt the book to national needs. French and Spanish editions will be published during WAAW.
World AMR Awareness Week – with the theme “Preventing antimicrobial resistance together» – promotes joint actions by leaders and communities from diverse sectors working to preserve antimicrobials and protect the health of people, animals, plants and the environment. This important topic will be at the center of the UN General Assembly high-level meeting on AMR in September 2024, where countries will be invited to make bold commitments to combat AMR and work towards internationally agreed targets and accelerated action in countries.