74th World Health Assembly – May 2021
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Statement on Agenda Item 74/13.5
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) | Report by the Director-General
In our projects, Médecins Sans Frontières faces serious challenges preventing, diagnosing and treating drug-resistant infections.
Surveillance has proven instrumental in the control of COVID-19. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) remains a blind spot in many areas; a significant increase in international support to improve diagnostic capacity in resource-poor settings is urgently needed to improve stewardship and patient care in real time.
Substantial upfront public research and development (R&D) funding to tackle COVID-19 has transformed neglected coronavirus pipelines into ones with hundreds of candidates. We urge Member States to adopt expedited efforts to stimulate AMR R&D, similar to efforts adopted for COVID-19 therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines, and commit to expanding sustainable access globally.
A leap in technical and financial investments must follow the establishment of the Global Leaders Group to catalyse implementation of national action plans and support global coordination of R&D and sustainable access efforts, including via product development partnerships, such as the Global Antibiotic R&D Partnership.
To mitigate shortages and access essential antibiotics sustainably, solutions must include diversifying manufacturing capacities, improving supply chain transparency, and establishing international pooled procurement mechanisms to which countries could subscribe.