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Tackling antimicrobial resistance: Union commits to take action

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The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) supports the United Nations Group of Friends on AMR Call to Action on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

Man holding different types of TB medication

Volkan Bozkır, President of the UN General Assembly, announced the Call to Action on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – 2021 on the 29th April. The aim at global, regional, and national levels is to:

  • Strengthen the One Health approach (collaboration between multiple sectors to achieve better public health outcomes) to tackle AMR
  • Learn from the COVID-19 pandemic to address the growing threat of AMR, which has been referred to as a “silent tsunami”
  • Deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Tuberculosis (TB) is a key drug resistant infection, with drug-resistant forms of TB already making up a substantial portion of the AMR burden.

In 2050, a quarter of the 10 million expected AMR deaths will come from drug-resistant TB alone.

Carrie Tudor, Chair of The Union’s Coordinating Committee of Scientific Activities, said: “The Union is pleased to support the Call to Action on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – 2021. The Union commits to ensuring that not only does AMR stay high on the political agenda, but also the contribution that TB plays in AMR is widely known.

“The Union commits to the One Health approach and this was at the heart of the Zoonotic TB Roadmap developed by The Union in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

“The Union agrees that it essential that experts from scientific practices spanning humans, animals and the environment must be involved in AMR discussions.”

Grania Bridgen, Director of TB at The Union, said: “For high burden TB countries, particularly those in the WHO top 30 high burden countries for multidrug-resistant TB, there needs to be close linkages between the development and implementation of AMR action plans and national strategic plans for TB. This will ensure that the TB and AMR response is complementary and synergistic. It is important that both the national strategic plans for AMR and TB are fully financed and do not detract or compete with each other. 

“The Union looks forward to supporting comprehensive and coordinated global advocacy and communications strategies to tackle AMR, led by the “Tripartite Plus” (WHO, FAO, OIE, and United Nations Environment Programme) and supported by One Health global coordination structures, including the WHO Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance.”

Read the Call to Action on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – 2021 on the United Nations website.