By Asma’u Ahmad
The United Nations Adhoc Interagency Coordinating Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (IACG), says there is immediate need for coordinated action to avert a potentially disastrous drug-resistant crisis in a generation.
According to IACG, drug-resistant diseases can cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and damage to the economy as catastrophic as the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.
Also, by 2030, antimicrobial resistance could force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty,’’ the group said in a report released on Monday.
The report: “No Time to Wait: Securing the Future From Drug-Resistant Infections’’, a report to the Secretary General of the United Nations April 2019, said presently, at least 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases.
This also includes 230,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis presently. “More and more common diseases, including respiratory tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections, are untreatable; lifesaving medical procedures are becoming much riskier, and our food systems are increasingly hazardous.
“Antimicrobial resistance is a global crisis that threatens a century of progress in health and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Antimicrobial (including antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal and antiprotozoal) agents are critical tools for fighting diseases in humans, terrestrial and aquatic animals and plants, but they are becoming ineffective.
“Alarming levels of resistance have been reported in countries of all income levels, with the result that common diseases are becoming untreatable, and lifesaving medical procedures riskier to perform.
“Antimicrobial resistance poses a formidable challenge to achieving Universal Health Coverage and threatens progress against many of the Sustainable Development Goals, this includes health, food security, clean water and sanitation, responsible consumption and production, and poverty and inequality.’’