Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday unveiled a five-point “action plan” to effectively fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR), saying that failure to tackle this hazard may cause even more lethal pandemics in future.
“The world is now witnessing the devastating Covid-19 pandemic and the AMR may cause even more lethal pandemics in future,” she said while delivering her recorded statement broadcast at a High-level Interactive Dialogue on AMR in New York, the USA, reports BSS.
The premier added: “Failure to tackle this hazard in time will result in huge loss of human lives, animals, and plants.”
The dialogue, convened by President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly Volkan Bozkir, is a follow-up to a call of the assembly in its resolution titled “Political declaration of the high-level meeting on universal health coverage.”
Sheikh Hasina said that according to an estimate by the World Health Organisation (WHO), 10 million people will die every year by 2050 from AMR.
Quoting the WHO’s prediction, she also said the economic loss for the AMR would be in trillions of dollars which will also disrupt food security and progress towards achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and universal health coverage.
Against this backdrop, the Bangladesh prime minister, also co-chair of the Global Leaders Group on AMR for promoting multisectoral collaboration to combat and contain AMR, placed the five-point action plan at the dialogue to effectively fight the hazard.
In her first proposal, Sheikh Hasina called for adopting integrated multi-sectoral and collective action plan on AMR by the international community at both regional and global levels with special focus on low and middle-income countries.
“Good manufacturing, laboratory practices and surveillance framework are needed to tackle the AMR,” she said in her second proposal.
The premier, in her third proposal, put emphasis on equitable access to affordable and effective antibiotics, as required, through transfer of technology and sharing of ownership.
In her fourth and fifth proposals, she opined for sustainable financing for AMR containment activities and global public awareness to battle it (AMR) through political commitment and partnership among the member states.
Highlighting her government’s measures to fight the AMR, Sheikh Hasina said they have developed a six-year (from 2017 to 2022) National Strategic Plan and National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance Containment-ARC.
“Moreover, the National Technical Committee on ARC, and the Bangladesh AMR Response Alliance were formed,” she said.
The prime minister mentioned that laboratory-based AMR surveillance for both human and animal health is being conducted regularly to ensure WHO categorisation.
“Similarly, from 2019, we’ve been providing AMR surveillance data to WHO GLASS Platform,” she informed.
The premier pointed out that addressing the challenges of AMR is crucial for preventing future pandemics.
“To this end, we need to implement the 2015 Global Action Plan on AMR, 2016 UN political declaration on AMR, and formulate AMR national action plans,” she said.
As co-chairs of the Global Leaders Group on AMR, Sheikh Hasina added, the Barbados prime minister and she is ready to work with all stakeholders concerned in contributing to the fight against AMR.