Statement |

140th WHO EB - Intervention - Agenda Item 7.2 Antimicrobial Resistance

Speaker: Katy Athersuch

MSF witnesses, first-hand, the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in a wide range of our operational contexts.

MSF was invited to speak at the UN High Level Meeting on Antimicrobial resistance last year, and we welcome the commitments made by Member States that reaffirm the strategies in the 2015 WHO AMR Global Action Plan.

It is time to move from commitment, to action. Now the focus must be on fully implementing these commitments through the development, funding, and execution of national action plans, as well as normative and regulatory frameworks. This includes a global framework for development and stewardship to ensure needs-driven innovation, and affordable and sustainable access to existing and new health technologies.

The AMR response must recognise the multifactorial nature of AMR, with a public health-driven agenda that puts the needs of patients at the core of the response. In developing countries where MSF works, there is a need to improve surveillance, laboratory-diagnostic capacity, and infection prevention and control; strengthening human resources and health systems are also essential.

The needs of the most neglected shouldn’t be forgotten, and we welcome that Member States have agreed to hold a UN high-level meeting on tuberculosis in 2018. We urge Member States and WHO to implement commitments to increase affordable access to vaccines, diagnostics, and drugs, which are critical to reduce antibiotic use, improve specificity of diagnosis, and ensure patients have the medicines they need in a timely fashion.

Research and development on new health technologies is crucial, but Member States must ensure affordable access on public R&D investments, with full implementation of the public health safeguards that Member States and WHO have already agreed to in the CEWG and GSPOA processes, including de-linking R&D costs from prices and sales.