By Aubrey Clark, Technical Advisor for Pharmaceutical Services, and Mohan P. Joshi, Principal Technical Advisor and Cluster Lead for Pharmaceutical Services
On September 21st, global leaders attending this year’s United Nations General Assembly will discuss one of the most pressing global public health threats of our time: antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This AMR meeting is only the fourth time in the global body’s history that a health topic will be discussed at a High-Level Meeting. It’s an overdue signal of the problem’s severity and reflects the global collaboration and coordination required to address it.
The UN High-Level Meeting follows a series of recent developments which have helped to push AMR into the limelight. As efforts to combat AMR slowly gain traction on the global stage, action can—and should—come from all levels from many different stakeholders, and across sectors. This “one-health” approach is fundamentally critical to minimizing the effects of AMR.
Informing and educating a wide range of stakeholders—including clinicians, program managers, government officials, public health practitioners, and the general public—are critical in the fight against AMR, and as such have been called out as key actions by the World Health Organization (WHO) and others. The first of the five objectives of the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan on AMR centers on improving awareness and understanding through effective communication, education and training.
To this end, the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program and K4Health, with funding from the US Agency for International Development, have updated and published a free e-learning course on antimicrobial resistance. The recently revised Part 1 of the course provides a primer on the basic principles of AMR, its impact on individuals and societies, and why it warrants major, concerted global action. Part 2 of the course explores in further detail the factors which drive AMR and interventions that can help combat it. We invite you to visit and explore the various sessions of these two complementary courses.
As global attention being paid to AMR grows, ensuring that awareness and understanding also increase will lay the foundation for coordinated action against this major public health threat.