The Antimicrobial Resistance Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Platform was recently launched to ensure the growing threats and impacts of antimicrobial resistance are addressed globally.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UN Environment Program (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH), known as the Quadripartite, are joining forces on the initiative to underscore the threat AMR presents to humans, animals, plants, ecosystems and livelihoods.
According to the groups, an estimated 1.3 million people around the world die each year directly due to bacterial antimicrobial resistance (AMR). If no action is taken, that number could soar dramatically, bringing higher public health costs and pushing more people into poverty, especially in low-income countries, underscoring the need for the platform to mobilize further coordinated efforts, they explain.
Antibiotics and other antimicrobials play a key role in the success of modern medicine and have greatly improved the health of humans and animals. But overuse and misuse has reduced their efficacy, with more pathogens developing the ability to survive the antimicrobials designed to eliminate them.
AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites no longer respond to antimicrobial agents. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents become ineffective and infections become difficult or impossible to treat, increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.
Further, the groups explained that 1.3 billion people rely on livestock for their livelihoods and 20 million people depend on aquaculture, especially in low and middle-income countries.
The new Antimicrobial Resistance Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Platform is an inclusive and international forum bringing together voices from all areas, sectors and perspectives through a holistic and system-wide One Health approach, for a shared vision responding to the need to improve coordination of efforts by a large number of stakeholders.
“Antimicrobial resistance threatens animal health, food safety and food security, economic prosperity and ecosystems worldwide. The world needs to join forces now to prevent drug-resistant diseases and reduce its implications,” said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu.