Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is arguably the biggest global health challenge we will face this century.
Many diseases, including pneumonia, tuberculosis and foodborne diseases are increasingly difficult to treat. The prospect of a world in which the simplest surgery becomes impossible, modest injuries become life-threatening and emerging diseases are untreatable becomes a future reality as the efficacy of existing antibiotics diminishes. It’s not difficult to imagine the devastating consequences this could have for billions of people because of untreatable infection.
To help navigate this enormous issue, HAI’s Executive Director, Tim Reed, brought the voice of civil society to an international summit hosted by the World Health Organization Western Pacific Region (WHO WPRO) in Manila last week. This was alongside key actors in the fight against AMR, including the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
This summit also brought together representatives from Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Lao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines and Vietnam, from a combined human and animal perspective all with a common goal of beating the current AMR trend.
Speaking from Manila, Tim stressed that:
“Driven to tackle a bleak prediction of a world without antibiotics, it’s our task to permeate the region’s DNA with AMR awareness, until the preservation, prudent use and stewardship of antibiotics becomes as natural as recycling plastics, anti-smoking and wearing a seat-belt”.
Tim added: “We are grateful for the leadership shown by the WHO Regional Director and his team, and are ready for the challenge”.
Also in attendance at the Summit was the Medicines Transparency Alliance Philippines (MeTA Philippines), a multi-stakeholder platform that has been incredibly successful in providing space for dialogue and influencing policy in the country. MeTA Philippines Coordinator, Cecilia Sison, said:
“Our MeTA team are experienced in pulling off results in medicines policy and public education. We have visited our African MeTA partners and seen how inter-country collaboration strengthens domestic policy work.
Moreover, we are ideally placed to be a regional hub in the Philippines, being a significant player in the ASEAN network and in the same city as the WHO regional and national offices. We are determined to establish at least four more regional MeTA national programmes, which will be a tipping point for international collaboration”.
Read more about the threat of AMR: