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2019-04-30

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Developmental Issues
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A tuberculosis patient is given medication at an Operation ASHA program center in New Delhi, India. | File photo   | Photo Credit: AP

Drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050, warned the UN Ad Hoc Interagency Coordinating Group on Antimicrobial Resistance in a report released on Monday.

It added that by 2030, antimicrobial resistance could force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty.

“Currently, at least 7,00,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases, including 2,30,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis,” said the report.

It also noted that more and more common diseases, including respiratory tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections, are becoming untreatable; lifesaving medical procedures are becoming riskier, and food systems are getting increasingly precarious.

“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest threats we face as a global community. This report reflects the depth and scope of the response needed to curb its rise and protect a century of progress in health,” said Amina Mohammed, UN deputy secretary-general.

The report noted that the world is already feeling the economic and health consequences as crucial medicines become ineffective. Without investment from countries in all income brackets, future generations will face the disastrous impacts of uncontrolled antimicrobial resistance.

It has now recommended that countries prioritise national action plans to scale-up financing and capacity-building efforts, put in place stronger regulatory systems and support awareness programs for responsible and prudent use of antimicrobials by professionals in human, animal and plant health and invest in ambitious research and development for new technologies to combat antimicrobial resistance.

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