Antimicrobial resistance a significant threat to global public health: WHO

Antimicrobial resistance continues to pose a significant challenge to global public health, with devastating effects on the efficacy of medicines and treatment of infectious diseases

November 18, 2023 06:56 pm | Updated November 19, 2023 11:55 am IST - NEW DELHI

World Health Organization

World Health Organization | Photo Credit: File

The South-East Asia regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is directly responsible for approximately 1.27 million deaths annually across the world, with current estimates placing the number of casualties in South Asia at 3,89 000.

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The WHO also cautioned that short of immediate action, 10 million fatalities will occur annually on a global scale by 2050, and could drain the global economy of up to one hundred trillion dollars.

“By 2050, according to a report by the World Bank, antimicrobial resistance will be responsible for a decrease of up to 3.8% in global exports, a decrease of 7.5% per year in livestock production, and an increase of $1 trillion in healthcare-related costs,” the WHO said.

AMR continues to pose a significant challenge to global public health, with devastating effects on the efficacy of essential medicines and the ability to effectively treat infectious diseases. Several factors, including a high population density, limited access to healthcare services, and the misuse and exploitation of antimicrobials, make the South-East Asia region particularly prone to this threat, it said while observing the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. The week is marked from November 18 to 24 annually to improve awareness and increase understanding with regards to AMR.

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