Article published on Health First Europe website, on April7, 2021
On the World Health Day 2021, Health First Europe along with the members of the European Patient Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR Patient Group), launched their 2021 Declaration on AMR, being truly committed to raising awareness about the real-world impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Consequently, we strive to help reduce the inappropriate use of existing antibiotics, promote antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control measures across Europe, and develop novel antibiotics where needed.
Unfortunately, AMR remains one of the biggest threats to public health today and a challenge for Europe. Data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) on AMR in 2019 demonstrated that percentages of resistance to vancomycin – a last-line antibiotic – in Enterococcus faecium bloodstream infections almost doubled between 2015 and 2019. Resistance to carbapenems – another group of last-line antibiotics – also remains a serious concern. Indeed, even as we continue to develop new and effective antibiotics, appropriate antimicrobial stewardship of existing antibiotics as well as regular diagnostic testing remains highly important.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the need to understand the complex connections between bacterial and viral infections. AMR will likely increase through the heavy use of antibiotics in COVID-19 patient treatment. Hence, the importance of diagnosing, encouraging a more responsible behaviour and promoting the optimal prescription and sustainable use of antibiotics. As a result, there will be stronger preparedness for our healthcare systems and timely responses to this public health challenge.
AMR is driven by interrelated dynamics in the human, animal and environmental health sectors, hence the importance of implementing national “One Health” action plans against AMR.
The purpose of this Declaration is to empower European citizens and patients to speak with one voice when sharing personal and group insights and experiences regarding the real-world impact of AMR and HAIs. The Declaration further calls upon European and national authorities to urgently commit to a full range of interventions in the field of education, prevention and investment. It is now more urgent than ever to step up actions to prevent HAIs and the related development of AMR throughout the patient journey.
You can find the Declaration and a new infographic attached below: