World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2022: Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together
Antimicrobial agents are used to prevent, control and treat infectious diseases. Over time, however, the misuse of antimicrobial medications causes bacteria and other pathogens to develop resistance mechanisms against treatment, including against antibiotics that are critical to modern medicine. As a result, the treatment of infections becomes difficult — and in some cases impossible, with an estimated 1.27 million antimicrobial-attributed deaths in 2019.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a threat that disproportionately affects people in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) where it can be harder to address if there are fewer resources and limited data on the epidemiology of AMR. The theme of this year’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together”, calls upon all sectors to collaboratively address AMR using a One Health approach. It is led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Organization for Animal Health and the World Health Organization.
A One Health approach is key to tackling AMR
One Health mobilizes multiple sectors to create a sustainable and unified response to the health of our global ecosystem and emphasizes the interplay between humans, animals, plants and the environments we inhabit. This transdisciplinary approach operates at varying levels of society to bolster well-being and tackle threats to health while acting on climate change.
Antimicrobial resistance can be transferred at the human-animal interface, making One Health approaches critical to addressing AMR. Because antimicrobials are more often purchased for animals than humans, the transfer of resistant bacteria through direct contact with animals and the consumption of animal products is a major source of spread. These risk factors are compounded in low- and middle-income settings that already struggle with hygiene, sanitation, healthcare infrastructure and antimicrobial usage regulations.
With a focus on LMICs, IDRC is supporting initiatives that target sustainable and scalable AMR solutions:
InnoVet-AMR: Innovative Veterinary Solutions for Antimicrobial Resistance aims to reduce the misuse of antimicrobials in animal production across the Global South by developing locally appropriate antimicrobial alternatives.
Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR) is an international partnership to increase the impact of public AMR research through more effective, efficient and aligned investments. IDRC’s contribution to JPIAMR supports the expansion of this research to more LMICs.
Strengthening gender equality and social inclusion in LMICs across the AMR research continuum, co-funded with the International Centre for AMR Solutions, is a scoping project that explores the connection between gender and AMR, identifies key knowledge gaps and develops guidance for AMR research teams to integrate gender analysis in their projects.
Engaging with World Antimicrobial Awareness Week
Be part of the global action plan to tackle the growing problem of resistance to antimicrobial medicines by Improving awareness of AMR through communication, education and training:
Listen and share IDRC’s Innovating Alternatives podcast with friends, family, colleagues and collaborators to learn more about AMR and how IDRC is contributing to innovations for food animal production.
Tweet using the hashtags #WAAW, #AntimicrobialResistance, #AMR, and #HandleWithCare. Tag @Livestock_IDRC to share your thoughts on this issue.
Check out the WHO’s Campaign Guide, learning events or “Go Blue for AMR” to learn and spread awareness.
Take a deeper dive into the mechanisms driving AMR by listening to the first episode of Innovating Alternatives, IDRC’s podcast about AMR in food-animal production and the researchers working to reduce it.