Countries are making substantial progress in tackling the ever growing issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), however, serious gaps still remain and require urgent action, a new report suggests.
The report, published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO), charts progress in 154 countries and reveals wide discrepancies in regard to antimicrobial resistance.
For over four decades a high number of those countries have been working on AMR policies in human animal sectors. It’s only until recently that other countries have started taking action to contain the growing threat.
In higher-income countries the progress in developing and implementing plans is greater than the lower-income countries but the overall scope for improvement is the same across the board.
Monitoring antimicrobial resistance prevention
In the report it looked at surveillance, education, monitoring and regulating consumption and use of antimicrobials in human health, animal health and production, as well as plants and the environment, all of which was recommended in the Global Action Plan from 2015.
Findings were reportedly promising, with 105 countries having a surveillance system in place for reporting drug-resistant infections in human health and 68 countries with a system for tracking consumption of antimicrobials.
Additionally, 123 countries reported having policies in place to regulate the sale of antimicrobials, including the requirement of a prescription for human use – a key measure to tackle overuse and misuse of antimicrobials.
“A global momentum to combat antimicrobial resistance”
Dr Ranieri Guerra, Assistant Director-General for Antimicrobial Resistance at the World Health Organization (WHO) said: “This report shows growing global momentum to combat antimicrobial resistance.”
He added: “We call on governments to make sustained commitments across all sectors – human and animal health, plant health and the environment – otherwise we risk losing the use of these precious medicines.”
National action plans for AMR
From this survey and other sources, FAO, OIE and WHO is aware that 100 countries now have national action plans for AMR and a further 51 countries have plans under development, but more needs to be done to ensure that they are implemented.
Only 53 countries have reported having a multisectoral working group that’s fully functional, although a further 77 have established such a group.
Only 10 countries report that the funding for all actions in the plan is identified and many middle- and low-income countries may need long-term development assistance to implement their plans effectively and sustainably.