Antimicrobial resistance as a problem of values? Views from three continents
Much has been written about the problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the action required to rein in this emerging global health threat. Addressing AMR is often operationalised as requiring ‘behavior change’ of clinicians and of patients, in combination with improving the drug development pipeline. Few have approached AMR as a challenge fundamentally embedded within the cultural fabric of modern societies and the (varied) ways they are organised economically, socially and politically. Here, drawing on a decade of work across a range of health contexts, we approach the problem of AMR as one of values and culture rather than of individual behavior. We reframe AMR as a social and political concern resulting from a confluence of factors and practices including: temporal myopia, individualisation, marketisation, and human exceptionalism. To effectively tackle AMR, we advocate solidaristic models that espouse collective responsibility and recognise relative opportunity to act rather than a continuation of the individualistic behavioural models that have, so far, proven largely ineffective.
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