Intervention on AMR at the 148th session of the Executive Board

20 Jan 2021

Statement is on behalf of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, supported by the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP)

We thank WHO for the comprehensive report and its support, together with donors and partners, to GARDP to develop new treatments to address drug resistance.

The growth of drug-resistant infections is a silent pandemic. If left unchecked, humanity will be unable to treat common infections like pneumonia, infections in newborns or secondary bacterial infections in viral pandemics. Like COVID-19, drug-resistant bacteria can infect anyone, of any age, in any country. Unlike COVID-19, we can prepare now. The drug-resistant microbes are known, and meaningful change can be achieved with sufficient political will and resources.

Member States can take the following measures to strengthen national and global responses to drug resistance:

  • Invest in the development of medical countermeasures (diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines) for priority infections as a critical element of preparedness.
  • Ensure that access to diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines for all is a cornerstone of preparedness and response. New mechanisms should be developed that can accelerate and secure equitable and affordable access to existing and new treatments for drug-resistant infections.
  • Expand global cooperation across geographies and sectors, within a One Health framework. No country organisation or sector can tackle AMR alone.
  • Ensure low- and middle-income countries are equal partners in a comprehensive global response. All countries know how and capacities must be harnessed.

Our collective success in fighting this pandemic will  depend on governments seizing this opportunity to develop a more robust, coordinated and equitable approach.

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