UK health Secretary Matt Hancock is going to present his case for a worldwide movement for combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) or antibiotic resistance at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He will also highlight UK’s new plan which addresses the threat of antibiotic resistance.
He will make the case for the treatment of Anti-Microbial Resistance as a global health emergency and will warn that we are on the verge of a world where a simple graze could become life-threatening. AMR has posed as a significant challenge for modern medicine which is predicted to cause a death count of 10 million people every year by 2050. All over the world, there is rising pattern of multi-drug resistant TB. Experts say that without effective antibiotics even simple procedures like hip replacement and caesarian sections could become dangerous to perform.
Antibiotic resistance is a process of natural selection by which overuse of drugs leads to mutation in genes of microbes. The antibiotic then becomes ineffective for treatment in the future. This has prompted governments across the world to reduce the drug usage to avoid development of AMR. The challenge which riddle the medical field is the way in which in the medical industry derives profit. Pharmaceutical companies are paid by the volumes of drugs they sell, as new drug discovery requires tremendous amount of investments, their primary concern centers around maximizing profits by selling record drugs to cover costs. However the profit motives of drug makers contradicts government’s ongoing effort to reduce antibiotic use.
UK’s plan for fighting AMR has a 20 year vision for the world covering food chain, health, environment and animals where AMR is controlled and contained by the year 2040. For the first time in the world, a target has been set to reduce drug resistant infections along with a target to reduce antibiotics use by humans by 15%.
We have to imagine a world without antibiotics to understand the severity of AMR in today’s world. If AMR is not taken seriously even treatable infections will become untreatable, even routine surgeries would become too risky to carry out. AMR could take us could return the world back to the dark ages of medicines undoing a century of advancements in medicine, say Professor Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer.
The UK government aims to reduce the number of drug resistant infections by 10 percent by 2025 and they also aim to save 15,000 patients from contracting infections each year by 2024. Mr. Hancock will say that AMR is as critical an issue as climate change or warfare. The Number of antibiotic prescriptions reduced by 13.2% between 2013 and 2107 and antibiotics use in food producing animals dropped by 40%; however there has been in a rise in drug-resistant infections by 35% during that time.
Bill Gates, the philanthropist and Microsoft founder praised UK government’s efforts for combatting the spread of AMR.