Trieste, Italy, 18 November 2013 – IAP – The Global Network of Science Academies, and the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) today issued a Joint Statement on ‘Antimicrobial Resistance: A Call for Action’.
In the Joint Statement <<http://www.interacademies.net/IAP_IAMP_Nov2013.aspx>>, IAP and IAMP highlight the critical role that antimicrobial (including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic) drugs play in today’s medical practices, but also that there have been dramatic increases in the number of pathogens developing resistance to these drugs.
“The global pandemic of antibiotic resistance in both community care and hospital-associated infections represents a major health and economic burden and this crisis is being exacerbated by a relative lack of innovation in generating new antibiotics,” says the Joint Statement, warning that: “We are in danger of returning to a pre-antibiotic era.”
If the current major public health problem of antimicrobial resistance is to be reduced, and if a much worse crisis is to be averted, IAP and IAMP propose a series of 10 recommendations.
Among the recommendations are a call for immediate action to include the issue of antimicrobial resistance in the global sustainable development agenda; the promotion of integrated world-wide surveillance systems that should include both human and animal diseases (so-called “one-health”); education programmes for the prudent use of antimicrobials for medical and veterinary professionals, as well as for patients and the wider public; and the need for additional research – including building research capacity in developing countries, with the aims of better understanding the determinants of resistance and of devising new therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines.
On the release of the Joint Statement, IAP Co-Chairs Professor Mohamed Hassan (Sudan) and Professor Volker ter Meulen (Germany) commented: “Over the past few years, academies of science have compiled a broad range of recommendations for policy development to combat the ever-increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance. By joining with the InterAcademy Medical Panel and releasing this statement, we hope to raise the visibility of these recommendations, bringing them to the attention of policy-makers worldwide so that appropriate action is taken.”
Prof. Lai-Meng Looi of the Akademi Sains Malaysia and Co-Chair of IAMP, said: “As a practicing medical pathologist, I have seen first-hand the devastating effects that drug-resistant bacteria and other pathogens can have on patients, and how doctors and health-care practitioners have restricted choices in how they treat certain conditions. This statement should serve as a wake-up call to the global community that the current situation is not sustainable.”
Prof. Detlev Ganten, President World Health Summit Charité Berlin, chair of the board, Charité Foundation, and also Co-Chair of IAMP, added: “As a society, we are coming round to the concept of “one-health”, whereby we take a holistic view of human and veterinary medicine as a single, inter-connected system. The misuse of antibiotics in agriculture and the need for surveillance systems around the world, especially in developing countries, are just two of the issues that we need to address urgently, and which are among those highlighted in this Joint Statement.”
In parallel with the release of the Joint IAP-IAMP Statement, a Commentary is being published by The Lancet Global Health: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(13)70086-X/abstract
The Joint IAP-IAMP Statement is available on the IAP website. Translations into Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish will be available shortly.