A deepening health crisis

  06 April 2020

Despite the severity of the current COVID-19 outbreak, another potentially more dangerous health threat is receiving much less attention: Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

As the European Parliament indicated three years ago in its multi-stakeholder conference on the dangers of AMR, it was already Time To Act.

At the same time a special Parliament Magazine supplement warned about the further growth of deaths caused by AMR.

For several years, the European Commission continued to use the outdated mortality rate of 27,000 per year. Although this has been updated to 33,000 annually, it does not take account of all infections.

Hospitals are a critical source of AMR, yet it is still not legally binding that all EU Member States report on the level of resistant infections through the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Network (EARS-Net), while nurses are not allowed to personally report AMR cases.

Sales of antibiotics remain high and little evidence was found by the Court of Auditors in November 2019 that the Commission’s activities would reduce the health burden caused by AMR.

Antimicrobial resistance is a persistent and growing threat to healthcare around the globe; Japan recently reported that over half a million people have been infected with multiple-resistant bacteria.

Further reading: The Parliament Magazine
Author(s): Martin Hojsík and Irena Joveva
Effective Surveillance  
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