Release Date: 18 Nov 2013
18 November 2013 – Trieste, Italy - IAP - The Global Network of Science Academies, and the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) today issued a Joint Statement on ‘Antimicrobial Resistance: A Call for Action’.
In the Joint Statement, IAP and IAMP highlight the critical role that antimicrobial (including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic) drugs play in today’s medical practices, but also that there have been dramatic increases in the number of pathogens developing resistance to these drugs.
“The global pandemic of antibiotic resistance in both community care and hospital-associated infections represents a major health and economic burden(DNA - Image courtesy of Photokanok ) and this crisis is being exacerbated by a relative lack of innovation in generating new antibiotics,” says the Joint Statement, warning that: “We are in danger of returning to a pre-antibiotic era.”
If the current major public health problem of antimicrobial resistance is to be reduced, and if a much worse crisis is to be averted, IAP and IAMP propose a series of 10 recommendations.
Among the recommendations are a call for immediate action to include the issue of antimicrobial resistance in the global sustainable development agenda; the promotion of integrated world-wide surveillance systems that should include both human and animal diseases (so-called “one-health”); education programmes for the prudent use of antimicrobials for medical and veterinary professionals, as well as for patients and the wider public; and the need for additional research – including building research capacity in developing countries, with the aims of better understanding the determinants of resistance and of devising new therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines.
On the release of the Joint Statement, IAP Co-Chairs Professor Mohamed Hassan (Sudan) and Professor Volker ter Meulen (Germany) commented: “Over the past few years, academies of science have compiled a broad range of recommendations for policy development to combat the ever-increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance. By joining with the InterAcademy Medical Panel and releasing this statement, we hope to raise the visibility of these recommendations, bringing them to the attention of policy-makers worldwide so that appropriate action is taken.”
Prof. Lai-Meng Looi of the Akademi Sains Malaysia and Co-Chair of IAMP, said: “As a practicing medical pathologist, I have seen first-hand the devastating effects that drug-resistant bacteria and other pathogens can have on patients, and how doctors and health-care practitioners have restricted choices in how they treat certain conditions. This statement should serve as a wake-up call to the global community that the current situation is not sustainable.”
Prof. Detlev Ganten, President World Health Summit Charité Berlin, chair of the board, Charité Foundation, and also Co-Chair of IAMP, added: “As a society, we are coming round to the concept of “one-health”, whereby we take a holistic view of human and veterinary medicine as a single, inter-connected system. The misuse of antibiotics in agriculture and the need for surveillance systems around the world, especially in developing countries, are just two of the issues that we need to address urgently, and which are among those highlighted in this Joint Statement.”
In parallel with the release of the Joint IAP-IAMP Statement, a Commentary is being published by The Lancet Global Health: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214- 109X(13)70086-X/abstract
The Joint IAP-IAMP Statement is available on the IAP website. Translations into Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish will be available shortly HERE.
IAP Members are invited to post comments at: http://www.interacademies.net/10878/call_for_ action/22749.aspx
Notes for Editors:
- Link to the Joint IAP-IAMP Statement on Antimicrobial Resistance: A Call for Action
- IAP is a global network of 106 of the world’s science academies. Launched in 1993, its primary goal is to help member academies work together to advise citizens and public officials on the scientific aspects of critical global issues. The IAP Secretariat is hosted by The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), for the advancement of science in developing countries, in Trieste, Italy, and IAP activities are supported by the Government of Italy and by contributions of science academies worldwide. More information about IAP can be found here.
- The InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) is a global network of 73 national academies of medicine and academies of sciences or engineering with medical members committed to working together to improve health world-wide, especially in low-income countries. IAMP activities focus on institutional collaboration to strengthen the role of all academies in alleviating the health burdens of the world's poorest people; build national scientific capacity in research and higher education to improve health; and provide independent scientific advice on health and science policy to national governments and global organizations. More information about IAMP can be found here. Link to the IAMP Forum, open to IAMP Members.
- The world’s science academies have been producing joint statements through IAP since 1994, when they produced their first statement on population growth. Statements since then have covered topics including ocean acidification, biosecurity, sustainable development and deforestation, while IAMP statements have covered the health co-benefits of climate change mitigation, and health research capacity building in low and middle income countries.
18 November 2013 is also the European Antibiotic Awareness Day - an annual European public health initiative to raise awareness about the threat to public health of antibiotic resistance and prudent antibiotic use. The latest data confirms that across the European Union the number of patients infected by resistant bacteria is increasing and that antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Prudent use of antibiotics can help stop resistant bacteria from developing and help keep antibiotics effective for the use of future generations.