Technical brief |

70th World Health Assembly Intervention, Agenda Item 12.2: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

MSF sees first-hand AMR-related public health challenges in a range of operational contexts. High rates of drug-resistant infections have been identified in several MSF projects – from tuberculosis in South Africa and burns patients in Haiti, to war victims from Syria undergoing reconstructive surgery in Jordan.

MSF recommends Member States, WHO and relevant stakeholders:

Consider a comprehensive and patient-driven response, with interventions and policies tailored to diverse country contexts. In developing countries there is a need to:

  • Increase microbiology laboratory capacity and context-adapted diagnostics.
  • Improve infection prevention and control in health facilities.
  • Train and support healthcare workers in the appropriate use of antibiotics.

Ensure neglected needs of DR-TB patients are central to the AMR response. MSF’s experience as the largest non-government TB care provider shows that countries need to scale up the prevention, diagnosis and treatment and update national policies and practices accordingly. It is unacceptable that less than 5% of people in need are accessing new TB drugs.

Increase access to existing diagnostics, drugs and vaccines. There is an urgent need to increase access to suitable, affordable and effective medical tools for prevention, diagnosis and treatment. For example, increasing affordable access and coverage of pneumococcal conjugate and rotavirus vaccines are essential to reduce mortality and prevent unnecessary antibiotics use.

Ensure full public return on public R&D investments. MSF welcomes the reform of financing and incentive mechanisms but governments and WHO must increase policy coherence and coordination. To achieve optimal public health outcomes, all R&D efforts should be needs-driven, evidence-based and guided by principles of affordability, effectiveness, efficiency and equity, and be considered a shared responsibility. It is essential to fully de-link paying for innovation from the expectation of high prices, monopolies and volume sales. This is different than de-linking return on investment from volumes only, which results in expensive medicines.

A full list of briefing documents and interventions for the 70th WHA can be found here.

Agenda Item 12.2 - Antimicrobial Resistance