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Urgent action required to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance say world experts

DOHA, QATAR: Failure to address the global problem of antimicrobial resistance will result in a serious threat being posed by the most routine of medical ailments, world leading experts said today. In a report published at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) 2013 examined a range of innovative solutions from around the world from the prevention and control of infection and the eradication of improper use of antibiotics to the need for research and development of new vaccines. Recommendations to global policy makers included building awareness and education on the appropriate use of antibiotics, conservation and judicious dissemination of antibiotics, and making sanitation and hygiene a public health priority.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom and Chair of the AMR Forum, said: “Antimicrobial resistance is increasing all the time and the threat it poses is real and serious. If we are to tackle this we need to work together to find ways to increase awareness about the unnecessary use of antibiotics but also increase and encourage research into new antibiotics and bacterial vaccines. Doing nothing is not an option – we need to act together and act now if we to prevent the risks that this ever increasing problem causes to public health.”
AMR is one of eight areas being discussed at the Summit taking place on 10 and 11 December, where world leading experts will join an influential cast of heads of state, government ministers, academics, clinicians, policy makers and business leaders to discuss innovative solutions to some of the most pressing global health challenges. As well as AMR, there will be reports on Accountable Care, Big Data and Healthcare, End of Life Care, Mental Health, Obesity, Patient Engagement and Road Traffic Injuries.
The Right Honourable Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of WISH and Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, said: “Our response towards addressing AMR needs to be global and multifaceted. The Summit’s AMR report makes a strong case for collaboration bringing our collective ingenuity to address this growing threat, we can manage and mitigate the risk of antimicrobial resistance.“
WISH opened today in Doha and is under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. WISH supports the aims and ambitions of Qatar Foundation and reinforces Qatar’s pioneering role as an emerging center for medical innovation.
ENDS
Notes to editors:
1. Antimicrobial Resistance Report Summary
The forum report “Antimicrobial resistance – In search of a collaborative solution” identifies five fronts of action. National action and international collaboration is needed in each of these:
a) Awareness: Every time an antibiotic is used inappropriately, the development of resistance accelerates. Healthcare professionals, patients, pharmacists, public health officials, and the broader community all have a role to play. All stakeholders need to be aware of the severity of the antimicrobial resistance threat and of the importance of their own actions.
b) Antibiotic conservation: Antibiotics are a public good with a limited effective lifetime. The more they are used, the higher the chance Antimicrobial Resistance that resistance will develop. Antibiotics should be reserved for those situations in which they are the most effective way to treat infection. The report recommends stronger regulation aimed at limiting non-prescription use in humans and use for growth promotion in farm animals. Regulation should be complemented with diagnostics and treatment protocols to foster appropriate use in the healthcare setting.
c) Sanitation, hygiene, infection prevention and control: Avoiding infection is a public health priority that has the additional benefit of reducing the need for antibiotics. Sanitation and hygiene in the community and the food industry, together with infection prevention and control mechanisms in healthcare settings, are the most effective ways to prevent infection. The report recommends specific interventions like infection prevention and control task forces in healthcare environments, sanitary regulation for the food industry, and education at the community level.
d) Surveillance and monitoring: Policy-makers need to be able to understand the magnitude of the antimicrobial resistance problem, its evolution, and measure the impact of their actions. A lack of compatible standards and fragmentation of efforts currently hamper the ability to complete a global picture of the antimicrobial resistance threat. The report calls for international collaboration to standardize guidelines for data gathering, to co-ordinate national and regional sharing and interpretation of antibiotic sales and usage data, and to develop a co-ordinated global surveillance and monitoring program.
e) Research and development: Despite the clear need for new antibiotics, diagnostics, and vaccines, the market incentives to do research and development (R&D) are failing. A series of hurdles compound to reduce the potential return on investment, resulting in an exodus from the field by large and mid-sized pharmaceutical companies, with a consequent reduction in the rate of new antibiotics introduction. To solve this market failure, four types of solutions are explored ranging from simple market mechanisms to more complex solutions aimed at de-coupling R&D risk from commercial incentives.
2. About Professor Dame Sally Davies
Professor Dame Sally Davies is the Chief Medical Officer, United Kingdom. Professor Dame Sally Davies was appointed Chief Medical Officer in 2010. Previous career highlights include developing the National Institute for Health Research. Sally also chairs the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, and is a member of the board of the Office for Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research and the Medical Research Council, the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Advisory Committee on Health Research, the International Advisory Committee for A*STAR in Singapore, and the Caribbean Health Research Council. In addition, Sally advises many organizations on research strategy and evaluation, including the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
3. The AMR Forum panel members also included:

  • Sheikh Mohammed Hamad J. Al-Thani, Director of Public Health, Supreme Council of Health, Qatar
  • Chris Baggoley, Chief Medical Officer, Australian Department of Health and Ageing
  • Daniel Burgess, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rempex Pharmaceuticals
  • Jeremy Farrar, Director, Welcome Trust
  • David Heymann, Chairman of Public Health England’s Advisory Board
  • Lars-Erik Holm, Director General of the National Board of Health and Welfare, Chief Medical Officer of Sweden
  • Alison Holmes, Professor of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College London
  • Arthur Kellermann, RAND Corporation
  • Ramanan Laxminarayan, Director, Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy
  • John-Arne Røttingen, Professor of Health Policy, University of Oslo – Visiting Professor, Harvard School of Public Health.

4. About WISH
The inaugural World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), due to be held in Doha, Qatar on 10-11 December 2013, will bring together heads of state, ministers, senior government officials, academics and thinkers, as well as the most influential business leaders, to stimulate implementation of practical, sustainable and innovative solutions to tackle global health challenges.
The purpose of WISH is to encourage collaboration and innovation in health policy, health systems and health care delivery, in order to close the gap between what we know and what we do in the fields of healthcare and medicine.
WISH is aligned with the mission and vision of Qatar Foundation and Qatar National Vision 2030, and serves to highlight Qatar’s growing role as an emerging center for healthcare innovation. As the nation stands at the forefront of healthcare reform, Qatar Foundation has embarked upon several promising research-health initiatives, including partnerships with Weill-Cornell Medical College, Biobank Qatar, Qatar Robotic Surgery Centre Qatar Cardiovascular Research Centre, Virgin Health Bank, and Sidra Medical and Research Center.
For more information on WISH, please visit: http://www.wish-qatar.org/
5. About Qatar Foundation
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a private, non-profit organisation that is supporting Qatar on its journey from carbon economy to knowledge economy by unlocking human potential for the benefit of not only Qatar, but the world. Founded in 1995 by the Father Emir, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Amir of Qatar, QF is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
QF carries out its mission through three strategic pillars: education, science and research, and community development. QF’s education pillar brings world-class universities to Qatar to help create an education sector in which young people can develop the attitudes and skills required for a knowledge economy. Meanwhile, its science and research pillar builds Qatar’s innovation and technology capacity by developing and commercialising solutions through key sciences. Finally, its community development pillar helps foster a progressive society while also enhancing cultural life, protecting Qatar’s heritage and addressing immediate social needs in the community.
For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, visit http://www.qf.org.qa
For more information about Qatar Foundation please contact our press office at: [email protected]

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