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Antimicrobial agents may endanger all advances of modern medicine: Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged global leaders to promote and ensure rational antimicrobial agents in human health, livestock, fisheries and agricultural sectors as the silently emerging antimicrobial resistance (AMR) could endanger all the significant advances of modern medicine.

“Though the World Health Assembly resolution of 1998 decided to fight against this resistance, we’re far from reaching our goal to prevent this threat. As a result, we need to promote and ensure rational use of antimicrobial agents in human health, livestock, fisheries and agricultural sectors,” she said at the inaugural meeting of the One Health Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, held virtually.

Sheikh Hasina, also the co-chair of the Global Leaders Group, in her speech placed a six-point recommendation to fight the antimicrobial residence for preventing the impending catastrophe.

The suggestions include strict implementation of laws and rules to control the production, quality and marketing of Antimicrobial agents; comprehensive laboratory based surveillance systems need to be established for human, fisheries and animal; and selling of antimicrobial products without prescription of the authorised person needs to be strictly prohibited.

The three other recommendations are ‘promoting basic, experimental and operational research in the area of AMR with the allocation of necessary budgets; establishment of high-level advocacy, communication and social mobilisation mechanisms to regulate the unnecessary use of antimicrobials; and finally, political goodwill and focus of the global leaders for strict implementation is crucial and the support from FAO, OIE,WHO, UN Environment and other international and regional entities is indispensable in this process.

The Prime Minister said humankind is facing one of the gravest threats due to the Covid-19 pandemic for more than a year now. However, the silently emerging antimicrobial resistance could endanger all the significant advances of modern medicine. “If we cannot control the careless and indiscriminate use of the antibiotics at this moment, we’ll see more frequent and even more deadly pandemics in future,” she said.

Without immediate action by the global community, the antimicrobial resistance is going to be a major threat for the existence of mankind. “I strongly hope that our discussion over two days will help us firm up the action plan for taking immediate measures. I’m confident that with our coordinated efforts, our Group would be successful to establish this issue as a vital mainstream health concern and will present concrete recommendations to overcome this grave crisis,” Hasina said.

She conveyed her sincere appreciation to WHO, FAO and OIE for taking this very timely initiative of coordinated efforts to address the challenges of antimicrobial resistance.

Another co-chair of the One Health Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Residence is Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley. The Group was launched by three organisations of the United Nations — FAO, WHO and OIE– last year. Its members include heads of government, government ministers, leaders from private sector and civil society.

According to the World Health Organisation, the AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. As a result of drug resistance, antibiotics and other antimicrobial medicines become ineffective and infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.

Source: United News of Bangladesh