WHO has released a core package of 13 interventions to guide country prioritization when developing, implementing and monitoring national action plans on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The interventions address the needs and barriers people and patients face when accessing health services through a people-centred approach to AMR.
Globally, AMR is one of the leading causes of death responsible for approximately 1.27 million deaths and associated with 4.95 million deaths in 2019.1 Failing to address AMR will have significant economic consequences with an estimated cost to the world’s economy of US$ 100 trillion by 2050.2 While over 170 countries have developed national action plans on AMR, implementation remains fragmented and siloed, and greater political commitment and investment is needed.
Building on the Global Action Plan for AMR, the WHO people-centred approach and core package aims to shift the narrative of AMR to place the needs of people and system barriers at the centre, and enhance AMR awareness and understanding among policy-makers and the general public. It also supports a more programmatic and comprehensive response to AMR at the country level underpinning the importance of equitable and affordable access to quality health services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of drug-resistant infections.
The people-centred core package of AMR interventions
“AMR is a global public health and socio-economic priority. This practical set of interventions, based on the need for a strong people-centred response in the human health sector, will greatly contribute to One Health actions under the umbrella of multisectoral national action plans on AMR,” said Kitty Van Weezenbeek, Director Surveillance Prevention and Control, WHO AMR Division.
The document also stresses the importance of engaging civil society and community organizations, private sector and academia in the development and implementation of the national action plan on AMR. It highlights opportunities for integrating the AMR response in primary health care policies and programmes as well as health emergency preparedness and response efforts. “This package helps policy-makers identify synergies with broader health sector programmes, ensuring efficiency and the sustainability of actions on AMR,” noted Anand Balachandran, Unit Head National Action Plans and Monitoring in WHO AMR Division.
Overall, the people-centred approach is designed to ensure equitable, affordable access to good-quality preventive services, timely diagnosis, appropriate treatment and care of (resistant) infections to reduce the impact of AMR on patients in terms of morbidity and mortality, while leaving no one behind and contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
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