Statement |

138th WHO EB - Agenda Item 8.5: Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance

Speaker: Dr. Arlene Chua

Médecins Sans Frontiéres is witnessing first-hand the emergence of antibiotic resistance. We see antibiotic resistance in our child nutritional centres in Niger, in our burn care units in Iraq and in trauma centres in Syria. In recent years our doctors have started using polymyxin, considered the last option for multi-drug resistant, gram-negative infections. 

The adoption of the Global Action Plan last year was a first step towards addressing the systemic challenges of antimicrobial resistance. However, its success depends on implementation by the WHO Secretariat and all Member States.  

The upcoming high-level meeting dedicated to antimicrobial resistance in September 2016 must produce tangible outcomes that directly support the effective implementation of the GAP, including:

  • A clear overview of submitted national action plans to combat AMR as well as the committed implementation resources

  • Acknowledge the key role of vaccination coverage in reducing antibiotic use, by identifying the key barriers to introduction and roll-out, including affordability for new vaccines 

  • Review the current status of product pipelines for the development of effective, rapid, low cost diagnostic tools suited for resource limited contexts. Tracking R&D investments, and identifying gaps, should be carried out under the newly established Global Observatory on Health R&D.

  • Member States should discuss approaches for the development of quality-assured new products, where the cost of research and development is delinked from the price of the end product. New products must be governed by a public health framework that conserves the effectiveness and longevity of new antibiotics, while securing affordability and access for those in need. 

  • Ensure that all research processes carried out under the GAP are integrated within, or closely aligned to, the Consultative Expert Working Group. AMR should be included in the mandate of a Consultative Expert Working Group Pooled Fund hosted by TDR.