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UK gov’t progressing to stop drug-resistant infections

The government of the United Kingdom (UK) accepted the recommendations of Lord Jim O’Neill suggesting 10 ways to prevent the challenges posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as stated in his report, “Tackling drug-resistant infections globally.”

“Action on antimicrobial infections must be taken internationally. Jim O’Neill’s review has made challenging recommendations for the world and I’m delighted that the UK is helping to lead the fight on this,” Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer in UK, said in a statement released by the Department of Health and Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. 

Among the recommendations of the report are promoting awareness of AMR worldwide, decrease of antibiotics use in animals, and hygiene improvement to avert the spread of infection to others.

O’Neill’s report stresses the consequences of non-action to prevent the mounting crisis on AMR.

He predicted about 10 million deaths annually by the year 2050, said to be an effect on the global economy of $100 trillion.

The UK government accepted the said recommendations as part of its current strategy to curb AMR around the world.

The government already invested £265 million to intensify the observation of antimicrobial use and resistance, currently helping 11 countries globally with expansion eyed in 2017.

It also used a £50 million investment to begin a worldwide AMR innovation fund aimed at developing new antimicrobials alongside diagnostic tools and vaccines.

It likewise invested in the development of quick diagnosis tests to ensure people receive “the right drugs for the right infection at the right time.”

Once the new diagnostics tests are found effective, these will be available not only in the UK but internationally.

The government also reduced by half the use of antibiotics by the British meat poultry industry between the years 2012 and 2015 after the improvements done in stewardship, disease control, and training.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a critical global challenge and our commitment to reduce antibiotic use in livestock, in line with Lord O’Neill’s recommendations, is an important part of the government’s One Health strategy to tackle it,” said UK’s chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens.

Gibbens further mentioned about a good development in the monitoring and reduction of antibiotics use in the farming industry.

“We will remain at the forefront of the global effort to tackle this international challenge,” Gibbens added.

Davies meanwhile said, “No country can afford to be complacent about the catastrophic risk we are facing.”

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