15 September 2014
At the Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly in May 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) was requested to develop a draft global action plan to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR), to be submitted to the Sixty-eighth World Health Assembly in May 2015. ReAct responded to the invitation from WHO to relevant organizations, institutions, networks, civil society groups, national authorities and ministries to contribute to the plan during an online consultation held between July 4th and September 1st 2014.
ReAct believes that there is a need for an effective and rapidly responsive structure of global governance, coordination, and accountability for addressing AMR. This broader framework will necessarily require engaging other United Nations and intergovernmental agencies. A stepwise and extended process for building such shared commitment will involve putting in place a platform for ongoing consultation beyond this initial round of feedback.
To tackle the challenges of AMR, the Global Action Plan must also consider how to mobilize the considerable resources and financing that will be required to ensure that action follows intention. This financing will be needed to ensure that health technologies, from drugs to diagnostics, will be brought to market as public goods for those in need, that the infrastructure for surveillance and monitoring appropriate use is piloted and supported to ensure effective antibiotic stewardship, and that alternatives to non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animal husbandry are found and implemented.
ReAct and its partner organizations are working to generate and translate evidence, develop strategic policy options, and educate, empower and extend the networks engaged in efforts to tackle AMR. We stand prepared to work with WHO and other partners in both formulating and implementing the global action plan.
Recognizing that our resources and reach are limited, we have worked this past year to help nurture and incubate the creation of an inter-sectoral coalition of civil society organizations—the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition (ARC). The work of ARC recognizes the need for solutions and expertise across human medicine and veterinary sectors, in a broader development context, and grounded in consumer concerns reflected by civil society. We hope that the WHO and its partners will reach out also to ARC on the road to developing a global action plan.