Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses or protozoa) to nullify the effects of antimicrobial drugs, resulting in these drugs becoming ineffective.
AMR can affect anyone, at any age, in any country. GBCHealth has joined forces with BD (Becton, Dickinson, and Company) and other global health leaders in a new campaign to raise awareness of AMR.
Mobilizing global support to address AMR
The new Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition is an effort to highlight the ways in which everyone – inside the healthcare community and out – can play a role in addressing AMR. The campaign is collecting and sharing personal stories and firsthand experiences from those on the frontlines of healthcare and public health, as well as survivors of resistant infections, to educate people about the threat posed by AMR and how to take personal responsibility to slow the trajectory of emerging resistance.
“AMR is a threat to the human race,” Keyamo-Onyige notes. “The recent emergence of multidrug-resistant organisms has led to increased mortality and economic burden.” This threat cannot be understated. According to a 2016 report from the World Bank, by 2050, AMR could cause 10 million deaths and cost more than $1 trillion. This represents more deaths globally than cancer causes today.
To date, the campaign has attracted many with personal connections to a range of antibiotic resistant infections including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), tuberculosis, Clostridium difficile (C. diff), sepsis, and HIV. But the coalition is not limited to those working in the public health field or those with a personal story of contracting an antibiotic resistant infection.
Everyone has a role to play in addressing AMR.
In clinical spaces, infection prevention and control can be improved with simple changes like proper hand hygiene and surgical site preparation. Public health agencies and hospitals can use new surveillance and reporting tools to spot resistance trends and share information to help prevent outbreaks. Ordinary citizens have a role to play too. Individuals should not request antibiotic treatments from clinicians without a diagnostic test to detect the pathogen responsible for disease and identify the antibiotic most appropriate to treat it. This can go a long way to curbing resistance trends.
Are you a resistance fighter?
You can join the movement by sharing your story or experience with AMR or AMR prevention. Personal stories go a long way in helping educate and explain the diverse ways people can be impacted by AMR. Learn more or share your AMR story at www.antimicrobialresistancefighters.org. Or print out the “I’m a resistance fighter” selfie sign and share on social media with the hashtag #AMResistanceFighters.