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Antimicrobial resistance

Global declaration to fight antimicrobial resistance

A declaration to tackle drug-resistant infections is due to be signed by 193 countries at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 21 September 2016.

Global leaders will meet at the UN headquarters in New York City and are expected to agree on sustainable, multisectoral approaches to addressing antimicrobial resistance, which is described by the UN as “one of the biggest threats to global health”.

Under the declaration, the nations commit to develop surveillance and regulatory systems on the use and sales of antimicrobial medicines for humans and animals; encourage innovative ways to develop new antibiotics; improve rapid diagnostics; and raise awareness among health professionals and the public on how to prevent drug resistant infections.

Dame Sally Davies

Source: Infection Control Symposium / Wikimedia Commons

UK chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has campaigned for global action on antimicrobial resistance and says she is “extremely proud” that every UN member state is agreeing to work together

Dame Sally Davies, the UK chief medical officer, who has led a campaign to encourage global action on antimicrobial resistance, says: “This declaration is the culmination of six years of hard work and I am extremely proud that every UN member state is now engaged in the enormous task of tackling the greatest future threat to our civilisation.

“We need governments, the pharmaceutical industry, health professionals and the agricultural sector to follow through on their commitments to save modern medicine,” she adds.

The signatories at the UN meeting have agreed to pool funding, totalling £600m, which includes £369m committed by the UK to international antimicrobial resistance programmes since 2014.

The UN will now convene a working group to accelerate action and is expected to report back in 2018.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201753

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