The challenge of convergent crises

  28 February 2022

Climate change is not the only slow-moving crisis to reach a tipping point thanks to corporate greed, individual bad behaviour, a stalemate in international negotiations, and a prolonged lack of any sense of urgency on the part of publics and policymakers. The same factors also have contributed to a dramatic rise in antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The extent of the threat to human health posed by AMR can hardly be overstated. Already, the loss of antibiotics’ potency or effectiveness contributes to nearly 1.2 million deaths annually. That is more than either HIV or malaria.

Some scholars have noted the similarity of the difficulties in addressing climate change and AMR. But so far there has been little discussion about the damage caused by the convergence of these crises.

Around the world, people who live in urban slums face the combined challenges of climate-related pressures and drugs that no longer work. Even where there is no government monitoring of drug-resistant infections, local doctors in these communities notice the problem. Resistant strains of bacteria develop in these areas due to the widespread availability of substandard drugs, the overuse of antibiotics, and the confluence of sewage and drinking water.

Further reading: Jordan Times
Author(s): Muhammad Hamid Zaman
Effective Surveillance  


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