New Delhi: Drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and damage to the economy as catastrophic as the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, if no action is taken, warned the United Nation Ad Hoc Interagency Coordinating Group (IACG) on Antimicrobial Resistance in its report released on Monday. The report also highlighted that by 2030, antimicrobial resistance could force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty.
Currently, at least 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases, including 230,000 people who die from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. More and more common diseases, including respiratory tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections, are untreatable; lifesaving medical procedures are becoming much riskier, and our food systems are increasingly precarious.
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. Recognizing that human, animal, food and environmental health are closely interconnected, the report calls for a coordinated, multisectoral “One Health" approach.
“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 and Co-Chair of the IACG.
Convened at the request of world leaders after the first ever UN High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance in 2016, the expert group brought together partners across the UN, international organizations and individuals with expertise across human, animal and plant health, as well as the food, animal feed, trade, development and environment sectors, to formulate a blueprint for the fight against antimicrobial resistance.