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The World Together Solving the Antibiotic Emergency

17 May 2024


Yesterday, in the build-up to the UN High-Level Meeting on AMR in September, global experts came together to highlight the achievements, commitments, and call to action to address the antibiotic emergency. Hosted by the UK Department of Health and Social Care and the Royal Society, The World Together Solving the Antibiotic Emergency conference convened leaders from all over the world including HRH The Prince of Wales, experts from various specialities and across One Health sectors to make a collective commitment to solving the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

At the forefront of the Fleming Fund’s work is the Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS) programme. The impact of the CwPAMS programme was highlighted throughout the day – through sessions, a special film showcasing Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital/University Hospitals Bristol and Weston partnership and an informative banner highlighting Phase 1 and 1.5 successes. Overall, CwPAMS highlighting the valuable role the of Health Partnerships in supporting health workers who are at the centre of the flight against AMR.

Dame Sally Davies, UK Special Envoy for AMR, started the day by highlighting the breadth of representation in the room – clinicians, students, economics, policy makers – who all have a role in changing the narrative of AMR. Dame Sally encouraged delegates to keep stepping up to make bold commitments, requesting people to “step up, overcome those barriers, keep going… don’t let the bugs win!”

The day continued by hearing from Ministerial representation from the UK, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, and Italy, highlighting the progress that has been made to National Action Plans (NAPs) so far. But, importantly revised action plans need to include learnings from Covid-19 and building on the One Health approach; particularly committing to working with farmers to reduce use of antibiotics in rearing livestock. Addressing the request for a global independent panel on AMR, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £10 million of funding over 5 years, to be matched by the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia, to establish an Independent One Health Panel with the aim to “finally put declarations into actions”.

We heard from economists from the Center for Global Development and new research from GRAM study at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation – both highlighting new evidence-based data on the best value interventions for AMR and the global burden of disease – with AMR being ranked in the Lancet Commission currently as the third biggest global health problem. We heard personal stories the WHO Survivors Taskforce, including from our own CwPAMS In-County Consultant Mashood Lawal, about his own experience of fighting AMR. The survivors made a clear message to focus on supporting capacity of health workers and to “put patients at the forefront of your decision-making”. We heard from the World Bank, WHO, and European Commission – committing financial and human support to an action-oriented approach and highlighting that “AMR is complex, but every country can do something now, everywhere”.

The Prince of Wales and Lord Darzi highlighted the necessary link between AMR and climate change, noting that “climate change is a system problem, just as AMR”. The announcement of the new Fleming Initiative will promote innovative ideas to tackling AMR and create a “a social movement that acts globally, deeply embedded in communities”.  The importance of awareness of AMR was highlighted poignantly through the BBC Works film – Race against resistance.

CwPAMS took the stage again with our CwPAMS Senior Technical AMR Advisor, Claire Brandish – Claire noted the impact that true partnerships can make on addressing AMR by being built on trust and “united by a common problem”. CwPAMS is developing the capacity of the health workforce and is creating partnerships at several levels. We are seeing that partnerships “do not shy away from challenges” and create reciprocal learnings to build the workforce, in particular the leadership of pharmacists. Claire noted the relevance of Ubuntu, the African philosophy “I am, because you are” and how it speaks to the fact that we are all connected, and that one can only grow and progress through the growth and progression of others.

At the end of the day global leaders were called upon to make their declarations of commitment there in the room. Recorded and to be held to account, in an important moment of building momentum ahead of this year’s UN High-Level Meeting on AMR in September.

Before the Lifeline theatre performances closed the day, Dame Sally cemented that everyone has a part to play. There are real practical actions we can all make, and we are indeed united in this together, quoting again “I am, because you are”.

This post was written by:

THET - External Engagement Team

1 Comment

  • Yoseph Mamo Azmera
    18 May 2024 13:48
    I am so proud that THET is fighting in many fronts of Global health. Antimicrobial resistance is an imminent danger to the world ,which is going to make simple infections once easily treatable to become fatal and billions will die from. Unless we find cost effective strategies of microbial diagnosis for primary care. We need to update our global resistance patterns based on new surveys, and draw out stringent guidelines for empiric prescription. Otherwise the fate of humankind is yet again in threatened by a new epidemic of resistant infections of all kinds

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