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Watch our statement on Antimicrobial resistance at the 68th WHA

By 22 May 2015No Comments

Chairperson, Honorable Ministers, distinguished delegates, colleagues:

Thank you for the opportunity to deliver this statement on behalf of Global Health Council and RESULTS. We are pleased that anti-microbial resistance (AMR), long neglected in the global health arena, is finally receiving overdue attention.

AMR is no longer just a global health issue, but a top threat on the global security agenda.

This is why we are grateful that Germany has made AMR a top priority on the G7 agenda, the United States has issued a National Action Plan, and that UK Prime Minister David Cameron commissioned a group of top economists to look at the potential impact of AMR.

The commission’s findings should cause us all significant alarm – by 2050 AMR could cause 10 million deaths a year , with the world economy losing up to $100 trillion by 2050.

A quarter of those 10 million deaths could be caused by a single pathogen, drug resistant tuberculosis – airborne bacteria that can easily spread across borders and that is steadily gaining ground. It already causes a staggering 210,000 deaths per year, but by 2050 this number could rise to 2.5 million, according to the report. It also places health care personnel at grave risk.

Therefore we ask member states to specifically recognize the threat posed by drug-resistant TB, a threat not adequately acknowledged in the current draft of the AMR Global Action Plan.

We also call on the G7 to include drug resistant TB in their final communique.

If we fail to act, we face an unthinkable scenario where antibiotics used in the treatment of diseases like AIDS, Malaria, and TB no longer work. Decades of progress in global health will be undone. Now is the time for us to unite to ensure this does not happen.