Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the world needs decisive political will and action to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that can cost millions of lives.
“It (antimicrobial resistance) is a problem that can turn into a crisis. It can cost millions of lives worldwide. We need sustained political will and action to prevent it from happening,” she said.
The premier was delivering her opening speech at the breakfast meeting on antimicrobial resistance held at Lexington Hotel in New York.
“It is evident that more needs to be done. The strategic priorities are well identified. We have to make sure that they are duly implemented. They need to be anchored in a ‘one health’ approach,” said PM Hasina.
In this connection, she said that nearly 150 countries already have their national action plans on antimicrobial resistance. “Meaningful support is needed to implement them in low- and middle-income countries,” she added.
The PM said antimicrobial resistance should gain prominence in international development cooperation. The Multi-Partner Trust Fund, set up in 2019, can be the preferred instrument, she added.
“A robust investment case for antimicrobial resistance needs to be made at global and national levels,” she went on.
In this regard, she said surveillance is key to understanding the antimicrobial resistance burden and response to it.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has been reporting it to GLASS Platform since 2019. “Engagement of all concerned stakeholders is a must. A patient-centered approach remains critical. Early diagnosis can be ensured through links with primary healthcare systems,” she said.
She pointed out lack of research, innovation of new vaccines and other treatments as a major cause for concern. The private sector needs proper incentives for the purpose, she said.
“There are risks of critical pathogens developing. The evidence and data gathered on this are quite eye-opening,” she said.
The PM said there is no alternative to creating mass awareness on antimicrobial resistance. The annual Global Awareness Week in November is a suitable occasion for that. Antimicrobial resistance indicators have been developed for SDGs.
She said reporting on those indicators can help develop antimicrobial resistance policies affecting human health, animal health, food systems and the environment.
Source: United News of Bangladesh