Antibiotic Action & BSAC Respond to UN Declaration on Drug-Resistant Infections

Antibiotic Action & BSAC Respond to UN Declaration on Drug-Resistant Infections

BSAC applauds and welcomes signing, by all 193 countries of the United Nations, of a landmark declaration to rid the world of drug-resistant infections or “superbugs”, a declaration that has the potential to prevent 700,000 deaths a year according to expert estimates.

Professor Dilip Nathwani OBE, President of BSAC and Consultant Physician and Honorary Professor of Infection, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School Dundee said:

This landmark declaration, only the fourth UN declaration to have been reached on a health issue, offers opportunity to address one of the biggest threats to humanity that exists today – antibiotic resistant infections.  We at BSAC, through  The Conscience of Antimicrobial Resistance Accountability (CARA) coalition announced on 20 September, will work to ensure this declaration is upheld, implemented and makes the significant long-term difference that is needed.”

Speaking of what is already available to support implementation of the recommendations he said “Signatories have been given 2 years to report back the UN with an action plan, there are already however many global initiatives already in place that should be examined, adopted and implemented to take forward the recommendations of this important report.”.  The Massive Open Online Course on Antimicrobial Stewardship offers global education to all health economies across the world.  In addition the need for global and national surveillance of consumption and resistance are critical and are addressed by initiatives such as the launch of the Global PPS tool kit  that is freely available and the soon to be launched UK Point Prevalence Survey System that will be freely available to all Trusts and Boards in the UK as a training and benchmarking tool.  In addition organisations such as BSAC and the Infection Control Africa Network are  working with local communities to develop frameworks for the delivery of antimicrobial stewardship education.  Let us take our successes to governments worldwide and seek their political, policy and financial support in developing and spreading good practice”

Professor Laura Piddock, BSAC Chair in Public Engagement, Director of Antibiotic Action and Professor of Microbiology University of Birmingham said this:

This is an important resolution that demonstrates global commitment to addressing AMR. A central part of the action plan will be to develop and introduce targets for each demographic group and geographical location against which we can mark progress.   The declaration will support opportunities to increase global surveillance to detect AMR, including the use of genomic tools in high-income countries and partnering with low-medium income countries to provide robust data on the size of the AMR problem. However, it will do little to address it. We need to increase the global take-up of activities that prevent infection including access to clean water and good public health systems. Further we must take this opportunity to ensure adequate funding is made available for basic research to understand how resistance emerges, is transmitted and resistance mechanisms, as well as basic discovery science to underpin new treatments.”