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.”

NewsNarratives (formerly Wired Correspondence) aims to become an independent and progressive online magazine that will focus on underreported social issues and human interest stories in the Philippines and elsewhere written in narrative, longform journalism. We intend to extensively cover stories of people and communities whose struggles are left undercovered, unheard, or unaddressed by the governments or other institutions. But as a progressive publication, we focus less on what these institutions failed to do for them, rather focus more on what can still be done. Then again, it’s not all about the failures and struggles. We also want good stories that inspire and give hope. So, we will feature stories of people who won life’s struggles in hopes of learning from them and of ordinary individuals who are contributing extraordinary work whether to their family or community—yes, the many unsung heroes in our society. We aim to help and inspire people through our storytelling, by producing content that targets the heart to feel and provokes the brain to act on it—in a good way. We start all these in our own backyard, the Philippines, with a dream of pursuing elsewhere.

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