[Answered] The rapidly rising Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) needs an accelerated, multi-sectoral, global, and national response. Elaborate.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain some threats due to AMR. Also write some measures to tackle this.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when microbes like (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) change over time and no longer respond to medicines making infections harder to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. A 2018 report by the OECD warned that the world could experience a significant rise in resistance to second and third-line antibiotics by 2030.

Threats due to AMR:

  • Microbial resistance to antibioticsmakes it harder to treat infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis (TB), blood-poisoning (septicaemia) and several food-borne diseases.
  • A 2022 study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revealed that resistance to broad-spectrum antimicrobials increases by 5% to 10% every year.
  • AMR adds to the burden of communicable diseases and strains the health systems of a country, making it even more challenging to address health crises.
  • AMR imposes a huge health cost on the patient in the form of longer hospitalization, health complications, delayed recovery and the need for more expensive and intensive care.
  • The rapid global spread of multi- and pan-resistant bacteria (also known as “superbugs”) cause infections that are not treatable with existing antimicrobial medicines such as antibiotics.

What needs to be done?

  • Ensure that antibiotic consumption in humans is from the WHO “Access” group of antibiotics.
  • Tackling AMR requires constant monitoring of antibiotic consumption, identifying the types and quantities of antibiotics being used.
  • Eliminate use in animals and food production of antimicrobials that are medically important for human health.
  • The One Health approach can be helpful as it brings together multiple sectors and stakeholders engaged in human, animal and plant health, and the environment to work to attain better public health outcomes.
  • Greater innovation and investment is required in operational research, and in research and development of new antimicrobial medicines, vaccines, and diagnostic tools especially those targeting the critical gram-negative bacteria.
  • Educate patients and the general community on the appropriate use of antimicrobials and create awareness about the dangers of taking antibiotics without being prescribed.

While the scientific community looks for solutions, governments must raise the standard of living for citizens, provide them accessible and affordable quality health care, besides regulating the sale and use of antibiotics.

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