Last week governments gathered for the WHO’s 74th World Health Assembly after a year marked by governments being occupied with responding and managing several waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we list our main takeaways from the debates relevant for antimicrobial resistance, access to medicines and vaccines, and pandemic preparedness and response. The article also include two ReAct policy briefs before WHA.
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.
Your life can change in a split second. Vanessa Carter from South Africa is well aware of this. She was in a car accident 17 years ago.
She says: “I pushed a lot of feelings down but it was extremely, extremely difficult. Especially the facial difference, the trauma of losing half your face to an accident. People stared at me and I had the most horrific comments sometimes.”
On top of the accident she also survived 3 years of a drug-resistant infection. Despite this, she stayed strong and felt a need to create change. She became a patient advocate for antibiotic resistance and is now widely engaged, completed a Stanford Medicine X e-Patient Scholarship and holds a position in the WHO Strategic Advisory Group (STAG) for AMR. She says: “It is not just me, there are other patients as well.”
End April, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)75th session hosted a high-level interactive dialogue on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The dialogue had participation from government leaders, industry leaders, health and development experts, delegates of the Tripartite-plus (WHO, OIE, FAO & UNEP) as well as representatives from civil society organisations including ReAct Africa and South Centre. Here you can find a few key points from the meeting.
Due to COVID-19, pandemic preparedness and global health security have emerged as the dominating approach to addressing public health crises, of which antimicrobial resistance has been among the priority list. The article highlights considerations for antimicrobial resistance to be addressed through the pandemic preparedness lens.
The new ReAct report “Ensuring sustainable access to effective antibiotics for everyone, everywhere – How to address the global crisis in antibiotic Research and Development” includes a comprehensive summary and critical evaluation of recent initiatives to overcome the barriers to achieve sustainable access to antibiotics.
As antibiotic resistance will continue to develop as long as we depend on these medicines to treat bacterial infections, a continuous supply of new effective antibiotics is needed.
New film and report!
Life-threatening infections in children are becoming untreatable. ReAct releases a short film and a global survey to get the attention from leaders in governments, from donors and from professional societies and civil society. The film portrays how children’s lives are at risk due to the threat of antibiotic resistance. The message from the survey is clear – physicians across the globe are worried about losing the very drugs that can save these children’s lives. Leaders need to act now. See ReAct’s asks of governments, donors, professional societies, and civil society.
Beginning March, the The Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Antimicrobial resistance (STAG-AMR) had its first meeting. The group is the principal advisory group to the World Health Organization (WHO) on antimicrobial resistance. Both Otridah Kapona, AMR Focal Point for Zambia and Projects Officer at ReAct Africa and Sujith Chandy, Director of ReAct Asia Pacific, was appointed to the group. We have asked the two new STAG-AMR members a few questions about the newly formed advisory group and their hopes for the future. ReAct also congratulates to their new appointment.
ReAct articles relating to COVID-19 and antibiotic resistance.
Here you find links to articles, reports and short videos – to learn more about the impact of Antimicrobial Resistance on Universal Health Coverage, the Sustainable Development Goals and the urgent need to find ways to finance efforts to manage antimicrobial resistance.
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.