Denmark said on Thursday it would create an international research centre focused on the fight against resistance to antibiotics, a scourge affecting almost half a million people worldwide.
Danish Health Minister Ellen Trane Norby signed a memorandum of understanding in Seattle, in the United States, with the international network of research centres CGIAR, to establish the centre, her office said.
Denmark aims to lead “future global work on finding new solutions for the serious challenges with antimicrobial resistance we are facing today,” Ms. Norby said in a statement.
The International Centre for Interdisciplinary Solutions on AMR (Antimicrobial Resistance), financed by Denmark and private investors, will open in 2019 and is expected to employ up to 500 people.
In 2016, 4, 90,000 people developed a resistance to antibiotics, according to figures from the World Health Organisation. The growing problem causes 33,000 deaths in Europe each year, a recent study by the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said. “The burden of these infections is comparable to that of influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined,” the ECDC said.
Discovered in the 1920s, antibiotics have saved tens of millions of lives by defeating bacterial diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and meningitis.