Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the world needs sustainable political will and action to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that can cost millions of lives across the world.
“It (AMR) 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 prime minister was delivering her opening speech at the breakfast meeting on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) held at Lexington Hotel in New York.
From this Global Leadership Group, all have been working on highlighting the issue, she said.
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“It is evident that more needs to be done. The strategic priorities are well identified. We’ve to make sure that they are duly implemented. They need to be anchored in a ‘One Health’ approach.”
In this connection, she cited that nearly 150 countries already have their national action plans on AMR.
“Meaningful support is needed to implement them in low and middle-income countries,” she added.
The prime minister said the AMR 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 AMR needs to be made at global and national levels,” Sheikh Hasina continued.
In this regard, she said surveillance is the key to understanding the AMR burden and response to it.
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The prime minister said Bangladesh has been reporting about it to GLASS Platform since 2019. “Engagement of all concerned stakeholders is a must. A patient-centred approach remains critical. Early diagnosis can be ensured through links with primary health care systems.”
She pointed out the lack of research and innovation of new AMR vaccines and other treatments as a major cause for concern. The private sector needs proper incentives for the purpose, she said.
“There are risks for AMR to develop for some critical pathogens. The evidence and data gathered on this are quite eye-opening,” she continued.
She said there is no alternative to creating mass awareness about AMR. The annual Global Awareness Week in November is a suitable occasion for that. AMR indicators have been developed for SDGs.
She said reporting on those indicators can help develop AMR policies affecting human health, animal health, food systems and the environment.