“The Roadmap advocates looking at AMR from a ‘One Health’ perspective as well as taking a whole-of-government approach, rallying all sectors to reform their ways of working and experimenting with new approaches at all levels, from global to local. “
26 October 2023
Health ministers and delegates from WHO/Europe’s 53 Member States have endorsed the new European Roadmap on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which supports countries in the WHO European Region to identify, prioritize and implement high-impact interventions to tackle AMR.
Meeting on 26 October 2023 at the 73rd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, ministers and delegates made the commitment to action using this practical and adaptable approach. The Roadmap sets out 53 interventions, from which countries can make selections according to national context, public health priorities and cultural considerations.
The interventions set out in the Roadmap range from traditional measures, such as improving hygiene and vaccination, to using whole genome sampling to improve environmental surveillance. WHO/Europe experts will provide technical guidance and support with capacity-building.
AMR – a global concern that needs local action
AMR is a global concern for both human and animal health and was associated with the deaths of some 500 000 people in the Region in 2019. AMR is accelerated by the misuse and overuse of antimicrobial medicines. Today, resistant pathogens are spreading ever more rapidly because of factors such as environmental pollution and global travel and trade.
Although progress has been made, more resources are needed. Almost all Member States of the Region have made national action plans on AMR, but only 25% of them have been funded.
It’s not too late
Robb Butler, Director of the Division of Communicable Diseases, Environment and Health emphasized that, with swift action, a disastrous outcome could be averted: “AMR is often referred to as the ‘silent pandemic’, but it’s only silent as long as we allow it to be silent. We need to make more noise. AMR is everyone’s business, and therein lies a danger, that everyone’s business becomes no one’s responsibility. It is not so much knocking on the garden gate, as it is hammering on our front door. The road ahead is not an easy one, but we are ready to move forward as one region, guided by the new AMR regional roadmap, working towards our vision that by 2030 people and animals will be safer from hard-to-treat resistant infections and will benefit from healthier environments”.
A comprehensive approach
The Roadmap advocates looking at AMR from a ‘One Health’ perspective as well as taking a whole-of-government approach, rallying all sectors to reform their ways of working and experimenting with new approaches at all levels, from global to local.
The Roadmap approach:
- takes into account the whole health system, fostering broad partnerships and alliances while maintaining a people-centred point of view;
- promotes sharing resources, data and knowledge between Member States;
- calls for increased investment in One Health, founded on bold policies that span multiple sectors to generate better data, deepen scientific understanding and get ahead of current and future threats; and
- integrates public health considerations into environmental and developmental policies to improve community health and resilience in the future.