September 28, 2016
The fund would support antimicrobial stewardship efforts in low- and middle- income countries
CDDEP Director Ramanan Laxminarayan and other experts in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) make the case for a Global Antimicrobial Conservation Fund, in an International Journal of Infectious Diseases editorial. The fund would support antimicrobial stewardship programs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), which include the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), currently driving consumption in both animal and human sectors.
The developing world is where 90 percent of the estimated 10 million deaths related to antimicrobial resistance per year will occur by 2050. These are also the countries most in need of improved access to antimicrobials and the least able to finance conservation efforts because of limited resources and weak health systems. Without external financial aid, many LMICs are unlikely to put in place public health interventions on par with high-income countries to control AMR.
The conservation fund would provide transitional financial and technical support to build capacities and programs in the poorest countries, with an eventual handoff to domestic financing. The fund would support interventions in the three areas highlighted in the U.K. Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (the “O’Neill report”): public awareness campaigns, building human resources, and infection prevention interventions.
Importantly, for those wealthier countries already spending considerably on AMR, contributing to such a global conservation fund would protect their domestic investments—one of the most cost-effective ways of mitigating risk posed by the transnational migration of resistant microbes.
According to Laxminarayan, “Preventing antimicrobial resistance is dependent on managing common resources. Particularly in the developing world, interventions are difficult to implement because of a lack of resources, but are necessary to improve access to antibiotics and prevent infections from occurring. A global conservation fund would go a long way toward enabling nations to limit antimicrobial resistant infections.”
The editorial in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases is available here:
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Commentary authors: Marc Mendelson, Osman A. Dar, Steven J. Hoffman, Ramanan Laxminarayan, Mirfin M. Mpundu, John-Arne Røttingen