[WHA68] IFMSA Statement on Antimicrobial resistance

Statement read on May 21st 2015 during the 68th World Health Assembly on Item 15.1: Antimicrobial resistance

Honorable Chair,
Distinguished Delegates,

The IFMSA commends the WHO’s role in addressing AMR and congratulates the proposed draft global action plan with which member states have so strongly collaborated on.

It is urgent to address uncovered issues on  optimizing antibiotic use, as per the draft Global Action Plan, a point reiterated by this Assembly’s president.

It is alarming to know that as we discuss this urgent topic and surely reach a global agreement, there are still three WHO regions in which zero to a handful of countries neither have surveillance nor are reporting systems to regulate prescriptions of antimicrobials.

Health professionals must provide sound, evidence-based prescriptions . Reaffirming the One Health initiative, we strongly urge Member States to be accountable for integrating relevant and urgent emerging resistance trends, empirical treatment regimens and diagnostic protocols into the continuous professional education as well as the health curricula, eliminating the health literacy gap regarding AM polypharmacy and self-pharmacy.

Finally, we strongly urge member states to actively seek and regulate alternative methods of antimicrobial drug distribution, whether it be on virtual platforms or by unlicensed distributors, to prevent suboptimal drugs from reaching our hospitals and to include all relevant stakeholders in joint discussions.

AMR is a generational issue. As future healthcare professionals, we face the risk of losing essential drugs to treat otherwise curable diseases of patients under our care. We are on the verge of returning to the pre-antibiotic era. Not acting now means we have failed our patients throughout their life course. they face unacceptable health consequences of previously treatable diseases .

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