Statement |

WHO 69th World Health Assembly: Agenda item 14.4 - Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance

Speaker: Helle Aagaard

MSF witnesses antibiotic resistance in our programmes, including child nutrition centres in Niger, burns units in Iraq and adult trauma centres in Jordan and documented very resistant bacteria in our projects.

In recent years we have used last-line antibiotics for multi-drug resistant gram-negative infections.

Multiple frameworks to tackle the systemic challenges causing and resulting from AMR are emerging. While initiatives to make AMR a political priority are helpful, they must be coordinated and not result in parallel or conflicting processes. MSF urges WHO and Member States to ensure that the needs of developing countries and vulnerable populations are not forgotten; instead they must be considered from the outset when priorities are set, products designed, and access and stewardship strategies developed.

The UNHLM in September is an important opportunity to advance proposals and to initiate negotiations for the necessary global frameworks, including one for development and stewardship.

Looking towards the UNHLM, Member States should:

  • Have in place resourced national action plans with accompanying surveillance data on the causes, prevalence and impacts of AMR

  • Demand solutions for tools that are not fully utilised due to access barriers such as pneumococcal conjugate vaccines which can reduce antibiotic use by 47% for pneumonia cases but remain unaffordable for many countries.

  • Ensure priority setting for research and development is governed by WHO and Member States reflecting the health needs of all countries and commit to mandatory development of target product profiles to guide R&D of new diagnostics, vaccines, and treatments, which reflect the needs of all countries;

  • Aligning any global agreement on Development and Stewardship with the CEWG recommendations and principles, and the findings of the UNHLP on Access to Medicines, in order to ensure sustainable access, especially by delinking R&D costs from price and sales volume.