COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic - the next one is already here: antibiotic resistance. Lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic can help mobilize urgent global action to address the silent pandemic of antibiotic resistance affecting countries throughout the world.
Antibiotics are critical components of all health systems. In an article published online in The Lancet Global Health June 15, authors from the senior leadership of ReAct, argue that a health system approach nationally and globally is critical to mitigate the devastating consequences of antibiotic resistance.
Securing access to effective antibiotics as a global resource requires a rapidly elevated political responsibility and engagement from society in all countries. High-income countries need to provide global leadership by reducing inappropriate use of antibiotics in all sectors; by financing new delinked approaches for the development of new antibiotics; and by allocating adequate resources to strengthen capacity and governance for implementation of national action plans in less-resourced countries.
Lead author and Senior Advisor for ReAct, Professor Otto Cars, says:
“While it is positive to see the global community wanting to make COVID-19 the last pandemic, it is deeply concerning that the ongoing pandemic of antibiotic resistance still flies below the radar of policy makers. We need to speed up actions, change the narrative on how antibiotic resistance is portrayed, and move on from the over-reliance that the current innovation system will deliver the novel treatments needed.”
Professor Cars also remarks:
“COVID-19 has generated unprecedented global collaborations, which are also urgently needed to mobilize the required policy response to antibiotic resistance.”
Professor Sujith J Chandy, Director of ReAct Asia Pacific says:
“Our global inter-connectedness in terms of health, and in particular infectious diseases has never been more evident. There is an urgent need for tangible action to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance. Many low- and middle-income countries have enthusiastically developed national action plans, but are not able to move forward due to lack of resources to implement them. This requires global resources to be mobilized quickly, but also a long-term national commitment, where antibiotic resistance is integrated in existing development efforts.”
Professor Chandy concludes:
“COVID-19 has exposed global health inequalities in terms of timely access to lifesaving medicines and prophylactic measures. The global community must learn from this. Ultimately, the end goal of our efforts in addressing antibiotic resistance should be to ensure sustainable access to effective antibiotics for all.”
For more information please contact
Senior Advisor Otto Cars: firstname.lastname@example.org
Communications Manager Therese Holm: email@example.com
Director Mirfin Mpundu: firstname.lastname@example.org
ReAct Asia Pacific
Director Sujith J Chandy: sjchandyRAP@gmail.com
ReAct Latin America
Director Arturo Quizhpe: email@example.com
ReAct North America
Director Anthony So: firstname.lastname@example.org
More news and opinion
- Tapiwa Kujinga, Director of PATAM: In Zimbabwe civil society is involved in every aspect of the response to AMR
- COVID-19: India pays a high price for indiscriminate drug use
- Lancet Global Health article release: Resetting the agenda for antibiotic resistance
- 3 key takeaways for AMR from this year’s World Health Assembly WHA74
- Antibiotic resistance – far more than a medical problem
- UN High-level Dialogue on AMR: political will and investments needed
- Resetting the agenda for antibiotic resistance through a health systems perspective
- 3 questions to newly appointed STAG-AMR members Otridah Kapona and Sujith Chandy
- Walk the talk: time is ticking for all to act on antibiotic resistance!
- Vanessa Carter: 3 years of surviving a drug-resistant infection made me want to create change
- Upcoming ReAct Webinar: Expert Conversation about new report
- New ReAct report: Governments need to take more leadership to ensure global sustainable access to effective antibiotics
- 4 considerations for addressing antimicrobial resistance through pandemic preparedness
- Preventing the next pandemic: Addressing antibiotic resistance
- 4 key takeaways from the virtual ReAct Africa Conference 2020
- The threat of the unknown: is lack of global burden data slowing down work on antibiotic resistance?
- ReAct input to the WHO Executive Board Session on Antimicrobial Resistance
- Dr Gautham: informal health providers key to reducing antibiotic use in rural India