The global healthcare industry is on the verge of a historic breakthrough, as 193 member states prepare to sign a UN declaration to tackle the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
In the UN’s 70-year history, this is only the fourth time that a general assembly has focussed solely on a health issue – a testament to the scale of the problem.
It’s welcome news for healthcare professionals who’ve felt increasingly concerned about the impact of drug-resistant infections on medical procedures.
The cost of AMR
Across the globe, drug-resistant infections kill 700,000 people annually. If no action is taken, that figure is expected to rise to 10 million deaths a year by 2050.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, England’s chief medical officer, called it ‘the greatest future threat to our civilisation’.
Without innovative solutions and development of antibiotics, superbugs could essentially bring modern medicine to a standstill. The risk of uncontrollable infections would make it impossible, or highly dangerous, to continue performing the routine and life-saving surgeries we now rely on.
A plan of action
The UN has successfully managed to draw the world’s attention to the global problem, and its endorsement of a member-wide declaration is a revolutionary call to action.
Leaders are expected to pledge £606 million to fund development of vital new antibiotics, but they’re also vowing to regulate the sales of antimicrobial medicine, and educate professionals and the public about the growing danger of superbugs.
To fully implement this plan of action, Professor Davies has called for a collaborative effort, and a dedication from ‘governments, the pharmaceutical industry, health professionals and the agricultural sector to follow through on their commitments to save modern medicine.’
As healthcare providers, it’s essential for the present and future safety of patients that you don’t create an environment for superbugs to thrive in.
To join the fight against AMR, you can start with ensuring you control infectious materials by disposing of medical waste in a hygienic and safe manner. Find out more about how we can help you – explore the rest of our site or get in touch.