02 June 2024
Volume 6 · Issue 6

Improving and expanding existing methods to prevent infections, such as hand hygiene, regular cleaning and sterilisation of equipment in healthcare facilities, availability of safe drinking water, effective sanitation and use of paediatric vaccines, could prevent over 750 000 deaths associated with antimicrobial resistance (AMR) every year in low- and middle-income countries, estimates a new modelling analysis as part of a new four paper series in the Lancet.

Speaking at the World Health Assembly, the authors called for urgent global action on AMR, ensuring sustainable access to antibiotics through:

The authors say that if the world does not prioritise action on AMR now, there will be a steady increase in the global death toll – currently 4.95 million per year from infections linked to AMR – with young infants, elderly people, and people with chronic illnesses or requiring surgical procedures at the highest risk.

Series co-author, Professor Iruka Okeke of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, says, “Access to effective antibiotics is essential to patients worldwide. Effective antibiotics prolong lives, reduce disabilities, limit healthcare costs and enable other life-saving medical actions such as surgery. However, antimicrobial resistance is on the rise – accelerated by inappropriate use of antibiotics during the COVID-19 pandemic – threatening the backbone of modern medicine and already leading to deaths and disease which would have once been prevented.’

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