At their headquarters in New York, UNICEF hosted an event on Friday 22nd November, to launch their technical note on antimicrobial resistance. This event, attended by UNICEF staff, representatives from countries’ permanent missions to the UN, representatives from other UN agencies and civil society including ReAct. The event was an opportunity to advocate for the inclusion of children's health and rights as part of the global response to antimicrobial resistance. The technical note describes UNICEF’s multi-sectoral activities that will have direct and indirect impact on antimicrobial resistance.
UNICEF’s Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore opened the launch with highlighting the importance of managing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and voiced UNICEF’s commitment to address this threat to children’s health and development. Stefan Swartling Peterson, chief of Health at UNICEF stressed the critical situation of resistant infections and how UNICEF’s work can help change behavior, prevent infections and provide quality care to children around the world.
“Over 200,000 infants with sepsis die due to resistant bacteria die annually, that means one child dies every third minute from these drug-resistant infections,”
stated Stefan Peterson, UNICEF.
In a recorded message from Jeremy Farrar, the Director of Wellcome Trust, he expressed their commitment to antimicrobial resistance and how they through its partnership with UNICEF will work to address the threat of drug resistant infections.
Drug-resistant infections challenge for children’s health globally
ReAct’s Andreas Sandgren provided an overview the problem of antimicrobial resistance and how it affects children. Already today, antimicrobial resistance is a critically important challenge for the health of children globally. Infectious diseases unproportionately affects children. Infectious diseases are leading causes of deaths globally and access to effective antimicrobials are critical for the treatment and survival of these children. With increasing rates of antimicrobial resistance the avoidable deaths from infections are increasing and will continue to do so.
UNICEF can address AMR through already existing activities
UNICEF’s Alex Costa presented the institutional technical note on AMR and described the approach how UNICEF play a role in addressing antimicrobial resistance through its activities.The technical note has identified current efforts through which UNICEF already contribute and scope for future to prevent the spread of infections, promote access to and optimal use of antimicrobials, and in communication to increase AMR awareness and understanding.
UNICEF has much of the needed expertise and are implementing activities related to many aspects that contribute to manage the problem of antimicrobial resistance, this falls within the programming on immunizations, community health programs, procurement and supply to antimicrobials, and the strong communication for development profile of UNICEF.
Strengthened coordination between UN agencies important
In a panel discussion:
- Werner Obermeyer Deputy Director of the WHO Office at the United States
- James Roscoe Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the UN
- Martha Poebe Ambassador of Ghana to the UN and
- Paloma Escudero Director of UNICEF’s Division of Communication
provided their reflections on the work by UNICEF in relation to the global AMR agenda and the implementation of national action plans.
Strengthened coordination between all involved UN agencies and other actors was lifted as important to accelerate the response to manage AMR.
Communicate around children and their health to help AMR awareness
With UNICEF’s strong track record of effectively working in the countries, and their strong position as communicators on children’s health and rights puts them in a central role to step up the work on addressing antimicrobial resistance specifically in the context of children. Several questions and comments from the audience focused on how to best communicate around antimicrobial resistance and resistant infections, and how working on communication related to children and their health might help advance the awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance as a critical threat to the health for all of us.
More news and opinion from 2019
- ReAct’s 2019 wrap up and 2020 expectations
- Blog post by UNDP and ReAct: Antimicrobial resistance: An emerging crisis
- Water, sanitation and hygiene services critical to curbing antibiotic quick fix
- Diagnostics: Antibiotic susceptibility
- ReAct highlights during World Antibiotic Awareness week 2019
- 2019 AMR photo competition prizes announced
- Launch of UNICEF’s institutional guidance on antimicrobial resistance
- Proposed ban on colistin for animal use announced in Indonesia
- School children led celebration of World Toilet Day and World Antibiotic Awareness Week
- 10 Innovate4AMR-winning teams enjoyed 3-day workshop in Geneva
- After 4 collaborative meeting days: Actions for the future in Latin America
- Four key points from joint comments to One Health Global Leaders Group on AMR
- Why are children more vulnerable to AMR?
- Dr Yoel Lubell, Health Economist, on Thailand, AMR, UCH and cultural factors driving AMR
- UHC and AMR: The Thai Experience
- Why do effective antibiotics matter for quality of care and patient safety?
- New ReAct policy brief: Antimicrobial resistance and universal health coverage – What’s the deal?
- Three key takeaways from the ReAct Africa conference
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- AMR-specific indicator proposed for monitoring Sustainable Development Goals
- Five focus areas at the 2nd Ministerial Conference on AMR hosted by the Netherlands
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- Upcoming ReAct Africa Conference: universal health coverage and antimicrobial resistance in focus
- Mother Earth conference in Argentina – the environment in focus
- Diagnostics: What are we talking about?
- Connecting global to local civil-society-agenda on AMR at CSO convening in Geneva
- ReAct colleagues featured in WHO Bulletin as leading profiles in the work on reacting to antibiotic resistance
- RAN stakeholder at WHO IPC consultation – for standards and guidelines in African Union member states
- WHA conversation on Antibiotic Resistance as a Global Development Problem co-organized by ReAct
- Insights from ReAct Asia Pacific project on antibiotic stewardship in secondary level hospitals in India
- Open letter to UN Member States from former IACG members Anthony So and Otto Cars
- ReAct UHC Intervention at UNGA Multi-stakeholder Hearing for High-level Meeting on UHC
- ReAct Latin America honors Earth Day
- Medicines Patent Pool’s view on the role of licenses for antibiotics – World Intellectual Property Day
- Second time for Innovate4AMR competition!
- World Health Day 2019: Universal Health Coverage
- Diagnostics: Constraints for successful implementation
- Antibiotic Shortages: magnitude, causes and possible solutions: A new WHO meeting report
- Erry Setyawan, FAO, on Indonesian NAP: We need to work together to make it possible to manage AMR
- ReAct’s new 5-year strategic plan receives funding from Sida
- How infections spread and how to stop them
- Generating data for policy and practice