‘AMR could be more destructive than Corona’- Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed concern that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) could be more destructive than corona. She warned that if it is not prevented properly, it could endanger every organism, including food security as well as geographical location.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the inaugural session of the second meeting of the Antimicrobial Resistance on One Health Global Leaders Group on a virtual platform on Tuesday (May 4).
Sheikh Hasina said the Covid-19 pandemic is a defined public health crisis of our time which has already claimed the lives of more than 30 lakh people. However, the impending pandemic in the form of AMR will cause further damage to world health.
The Prime Minister warned world leaders that anti-drug prevention would not only endanger the health of humans, animals and plants, but also pose a threat to food security and progress towards achieving the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
Sheikh Hasina further said that anti-drug resistance can affect any person irrespective of geographical location and socio-economic status.
The Prime Minister called upon the international community to ensure strict adherence to the AMR Control and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) system, which is possible through the implementation of the Global Action Plan-2015 and the UN Political Declaration-2016 on AMR.
Sheikh Hasina, vice-president of the Global Leaders Group at AMR, reiterated her commitment to work with Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Motoli and other global leaders to fight the threat of AMR and to ensure universal access to health care.
The Prime Minister appreciated the ongoing efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) to implement global strategies to address the impending challenges of AMR through effective and collaborative approaches. She emphasized on taking concerted action with various stakeholders.
Against the backdrop of the impending AMR pandemic, the Prime Minister has put forward seven suggestions to the world to effectively eradicate them through AMR control.
In her first proposal, the Prime Minister called for setting global, regional and national targets to achieve the goals of the Antimicrobial Resistance Containment-ARC and for monitoring the survey as well as arranging reports.
She suggested in her second and third proposals to develop policies and principles at various levels to ensure the proper use of antimicrobials and the sharing of scientific knowledge and technical assistance to ensure effective and inclusive AMR monitoring and capacity building.
In her fourth proposal, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to ensure equitable access to affordable and effective antibiotics and other medical facilities through technology transfer and ownership sharing.
In her fifth proposal, she spoke in support of ensuring adequate and sustainable funding for AMR-specific and AMR-sensitive operations, with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.
In her sixth and seventh proposals, the Prime Minister emphasized the need for public-private partnerships to invest in AMR prevention and inclusive, affordable and sustainable public health coverage.
In the context of Bangladesh, she said the government has taken a number of initiatives under the Six-Year National Strategic Plan and the National Action Plan in the ARC to ensure effective use of antimicrobials at the domestic level.
The Prime Minister said the plan has been formulated to ensure rational use of antimicrobials in human health, livestock, fisheries and agriculture.
She added that her government has been providing AMR data on the WHO Glass platform since 2014 and is working to involve the media in raising public awareness about antimicrobial resistance.