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UN high-level meeting on antimicrobial resistance: Five things to know!

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become one of the biggest threats to global health and endangers other major priorities.

Zee Media Bureau

New York: Global leaders met at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday to commit to fighting antimicrobial resistance together.

At the high-level meeting, all 193 UN member states agreed to combat the proliferation of antibiotic resistance, which is an increasingly serious threat to global public health.

It is the fourth time in the UN history that a high-level meeting for a health issue (antimicrobial resistance) was held after HIV, Ebola, and chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity.

“If we fail to address this problem quickly and comprehensively, antimicrobial resistance will make providing high-quality universal healthcare coverage more difficult if not impossible,” said UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon. “It will undermine sustainable food production. And it will put the sustainable development goals in jeopardy.”

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become one of the biggest threats to global health and endangers other major priorities, such as human development.

It is estimated that drug-resistant bacteria are expected to kill 10 million people a year by 2050 -- that's one person every three seconds -- if nothing is done to tackle the problem.

As per the WHO, globally, 480 000 people develop multi-drug resistant TB each year, and drug resistance is starting to complicate the fight against HIV and malaria, as well.

Here are some key facts about antimicrobial resistance you need to know:

  • Antimicrobial resistance is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. As a result, the medicines become ineffective, and infections persist and increasing the risk of spread to others.
  • Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs” - a strain of bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotic drugs.
  • Over the past half century, only two new classes of antibiotics reached the market.
  • Without effective antibiotics, the success of major surgery and cancer chemotherapy would be compromised.
  • Although antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally over time, usually through genetic changes, the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is accelerating this process.

From Zee News

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