Professor Anthony So, Director of the ReAct Strategic Policy Program and Head of ReAct North America was appointed Co-convener of the United Nations Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance by the United Nations Secretary General.
“I’m honored by the opportunity and humbled by the challenge we face in putting forward strategic recommendations for the United Nations Secretary General in addressing AntimicrobialResistance.”
ReAct is an independent network dedicated to the problem of antibiotic resistance. ReAct is a global catalyst, advocating and stimulating for global engagement on antibiotic resistance through a broad range of collaborations.
The World Health Organization’s AMR Secretariat organized a consultation meeting on behavior change in antimicrobial resistance, on 6-7 June 2018 in Geneva. Dr. Philip Mathew, ReAct Asia Pacific , represented the network at the meeting.
Sanofi announced last week that they are shedding off their anti-infectives Research & Development unit. This is surprising as Sanofi was a leading partner of the AMR Industry Alliance and raises questions on the level of commitments made. With big pharmaceutical companies outsourcing Research & Development, it sparks the need to ensure that incentives models target the actors actually involved in Research & Development.
A common obstacle for appropriate use of antibiotics is often said to be lack of diagnostic tests that can either verify or rule out a bacterial infection, as uncertainty drives use of antibiotics “just in case”. One estimate, for example, states that universal availability to an “optimal” diagnostic test for acute lower respiratory tract infections could save 404 million unnecessary antibiotic treatments in low and middle income countries. But even if a diagnostic test is available it needs to be used and be relied upon by physicians and patients. Two studies from the USA published during the first half of 2018 illustrate some of these problems.
Ghana recently launched the Antimicrobial Use and Resistance Policy and the accompanying comprehensive National Action Plan. Ghana’s road to the development of a Cabinet approved National Policy and National Action Plan started in February 2011 when there was a call to action: to be champions and advocates to tackle antimicrobial resistance at a two-day workshop organized with support from ReAct. ReAct has been engaged in the process from there on.
Mattias Larsson is a Swedish Associate Professor working in Vietnam. Professor Larsson expresses his concern and says it is a worrying situation in the country. In his research project they found increasing levels of resistance and high levels of colonization with Gram negative bacteria resistant to almost all available antibiotics.
In 2016-2017, ReAct supported a research project in Vietnam on preserving efficacy of last-line antibiotics. Results indicate very high rates of resistance to most antibiotics, including carbapenems.
The situation for many children in sub-Saharan Africa is dire: a variety of infectious diseases, malnutrition and inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure all take their toll in these most vulnerable. According to UNICEF, the estimated mortality rate in children under 5 years in sub-Saharan Africa in 2016 was 78.4 deaths per 1000 live births. We all share a responsibility to reduce these mortality rates, but how?
According to a recent publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, global antibiotic consumption in humans has increased dramatically from 2000 to 2015. The study rings a bell on the complex challenges posed by underuse, misuse and overuse of antibiotics.
As global attention and political will to address the rising tide of antibiotic resistance has increased over the last years, and a wider range of actors starting to become involved in the field, the urgency of developing global governance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is growing.
“Caring about antibiotic resistance is similar to reducing plastic waste or saving water”, says Dr. Windhi Kresnawati. She is a pediatrician and has worked in a remote area in Papua Island in Indonesia for the past 4 years. During this time she managed to engage various stakeholders to support and participate in a series of activities to raise their awareness on antibiotic resistance.
As we recently commemorated the World Health Day, it is interesting to remind us all of the rise and approaching fall of one of the most powerful discoveries in medical history – antibiotics. What makes them so special, and why is bacterial resistance such a major threat to human health?
Fixed dose combinations are pharmaceutical products such as tablets, ointments or suspensions where two or more antibiotics are combined in one product. In the treatment of Tuberculosis and HIV, they are vital for treatment success as they improve compliance and reduce development of resistance.
In theory, it sounds like a good idea to copy this success to other bacteria and antibiotic resistance, but in practice it is generally not so.
Bacterial resistance to antibiotics gives rise to new ethical problems. Much of medical ethics prior to antibiotics has been focused on whether a certain procedure is justified, for example with respect to safety, efficacy and costs. But as antibiotic resistance has a global impact that persists over time, new questions arise that cannot be solved only by more or better science. In contrast with science, which is descriptive, ethics is normative. Ethics deals with what we ought to do or ought not to do.
It is a well-known fact that antibiotic resistant infections have a major influence on the health of people globally. Antibiotic resistance increases both mortality and morbidity due to treatment failures and lack of effective therapy. But antibiotic resistance has even more far-reaching consequences on different levels that often tend to be overlooked.
The ReAct Toolbox is a user-friendly web-based resource that provides inspiration and guidance to take action and develop national action plans on antibiotic resistance. It is built on what has been done in the past in a variety of settings, and is aligned with ongoing and current initiatives from across the globe.
ReAct is a global network of antibiotic resistance experts with nodes in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America.
In the last 70 years the use of antibiotics has been crucial in improving countless lives and drastically reducing deaths caused by bacterial infections. The increasing development of antibiotic resistance is posing a serious threat to human health and development, the environment and for animal health. Learn more about ReAct’s work on antibiotic resistance here.
Involved in developing your country's National Action Plan? Here you find support for developing a comprehensive plan.
Doctors, pharmacists, veterinarians and other health care professionals - you have the power to take action! Learn more about how to get started.
Engagement from civil society organizations and communities is needed to tackle antibiotic resistance. Learn more about how to get involved.