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ReAct North America

ReAct North America leads ReAct's work on policy strategies.

ReAct North America leads ReAct’s work on policy strategies globally and is hosted by the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

Its work aims to:

  • Advance ReAct’s work advocating for sustainable access to antibiotics and for innovation of new technologies and practice across human health and animal health.
  • Support broad civil society engagement on the global scene as the Secretariat for the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition.
  • Bring attention to the issue of antibiotic use in food production by taking a One Health approach to addressing AMR.
  • Enlist new constituencies–some outside of the traditional healthcare delivery system–to tackle antibiotic resistance.

The Antibiotic Resistance Coalition

ReAct North America serves as the formal secretariat for the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition (ARC), a network of 27 civil society and intergovernmental groups working to address antimicrobial resistance in five continents and spanning the human healthcare, animal agriculture and environmental sectors. ARC provide input to various ongoing global processes, such as the Interagency Coordination Group on AMR and the Tripartite Global Development and Stewardship Framework. ReAct North America also played an important role in the creation of ARC in 2014. In doing so, they developed a conceptual framework to illustrate the range of issues that needs to be considered when addressing antimicrobial resistance:

Access

Antibiotics treat diseases that afflict patients in both North and South. Access to these drugs is not just for neglected diseases endemic in only low-and middle-income countries.

Innovation

How we bring novel antibiotics forward will influence access to these drugs. We need to address the political challenges around innovation by standing up to drug industry calls for premium pricing, extended market exclusivity and efforts to lower drug regulatory and safety standards, and insisting on fair returns for public investment.

Rational use in human healthcare

Promoting appropriate antibiotic use throughout the healthcare delivery system will help ensure conservation of existing antibiotics.

Ecological responsibility Non-Human Use of Antibiotics

Antibiotics are greatly overused and misused in livestock farming and aquaculture, overwhelmingly for growth promotion or for routine disease prevention and control, contributing to resistance in humans through multiple pathways through the food chain, direct animal contact and the wider environment.

Reimagining Resistance: Sustainability and Systems Thinking

We must take a systems perspective and ecosystem approach in addressing antibiotic resistance.Schematic picture of innovation, access, rational use of antibiotics, ecological responsibility and sustainability and systems thinking
ReAct shares the ARC Antibiotic Resistance Declaration in common with the civil society groups across human and animal health within the ARC coalition.

Participants at the ARC Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, May 2018.

Convening the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition

In May 2018, the ReAct Strategic Policy Program organized a civil society conference in Geneva, “Charting A Future Free from the Fear of Untreatable Infections: A Civil Society Agenda,” in partnership with South Centre and Third World Network bringing together over 30 civil society groups from ARC and beyond to develop next steps as a coordinated global civil society effort. This convening was also the opportunity to host a consultation with Subgroup 4 of the IACG, whose work focused on R&D, innovation and access. Following the meeting, ARC members and civil society partners worked collectively to develop a policy guidance document capturing key points, principles and best practices for the UN IACG.

ReAct North America also held the fourth annual WHO-NGO dialogue in Geneva to discuss the WHO Secretariat’s ongoing efforts to tackle AMR. Organized yearly since 2015, this convening offers an opportunity for leading civil society groups to discuss the WHO’s work on AMR, focusing on issues of technical and financial support to countries, global governance, challenges around innovation, access and rational use of antibiotics, intersectoral concerns over the use of antibiotics in agriculture, and the need for accountability, monitoring and evaluation.

 

The winning teams in Innovate4AMR at the workshop at WHO in Geneva. Photo: ReAct North America.

Engaging the next generation of future leaders on antimicrobial resistance through Innovate4AMR

In 2018, the ReAct North America mobilized the next generation of future leaders in the antimicrobial resistance space by running the inaugural Innovate4AMR student competition. Innovate4AMR was a global online competition inviting student teams from around the world to design innovative solutions for antimicrobial stewardship in resource-limited, healthcare settings. In organizing the competition, ReAct and the International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA) asked student teams to propose strategies to tackle the underuse, overuse and misuse of antibiotic prevalent in a range of settings, from hospitals and clinics to outpatient pharmacies and develop innovative, scalable approaches to address the challenge of conserving existing antibiotics.

Participants of the Globalizing Food Campaigns conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

Addressing antibiotic use in food production

ReAct North America aims to increase attention to the issue of antibiotic use in food production by leveraging social media and mobilizing civil society partners across One Health sectors. In 2018, they organized a global conference in Bangkok, Thailand on “Globalizing Food Campaigns: Sharing Strategies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance” in partnership with ReAct Asia Pacific.

This conference brought together nearly 40 representatives from around the world and provided an opportunity for groups advocating to address antibiotic use in food production to share best-practices and discuss how such efforts might be expanded globally, particularly in Asia Pacific. Through expert panels, small-group discussions and field visits, participants explored how they might together develop cross-national goals and campaigns to address the issue. Following the meeting, ReAct North America led the development of the Bangkok Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance, Food Systems and Farming. The Bangkok Declaration focuses on the routine overuse and misuse of antibiotics in livestock farming and emphasizes that the effectiveness of antibiotics for human medicine should take priority over their use for commercial gain in food production.

Contact ReAct North America

Please, do not hesitate to contact ReAct North America if you have further questions, need help or would like to cooperate.

Click here for all contact information.

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