ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE (AMR) (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Helath)

News-CRUX-10     20th September 2023        
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Context: A new report providing fresh evidence on the health and economic costs of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

  • Meaning: AMR in a person occurs when micro-organism (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) change over time and no longer respond to medicines designed to inhibit or kill them. 

oIt makes infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death.

oThese micro-organisms are often known as “superbugs”.

oIt is a global public health issue, leading to a silent pandemic due to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in different sectors. 

  • Prevalence: AMR was directly responsible for as many as 1.27 million deaths globally in 2019 according to the Lancet report.

oThe World Health Organisation (WHO) even declared antimicrobial resistance to be one among the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.

oIn India, there is one of the highest rates of resistance to antimicrobial agents used both in humans and animals.

Key highlights of the report

  • Based on: Statistics from OECD, European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Group of 20 (G20) countries. 
  • Without a strong One Health action plan, AMR levels will continue to be unacceptably high and may lead to thousands of deaths every year in the OECD and EU/EEA and G20 countries. This could result in extended hospitalisations and thus, increased pressure on healthcare systems.
  • The total consumption of antibiotics in humans has been increasing for the last two decades. Resistance to third line antibiotics could double in 2035 than it was in 2005.
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