Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health and is jeopardizing our ability to treat common infectious diseases. It is a multidimensional and systemic failure of the health, education, agricultural systems alongside societal behavior, medical policies and practices. Health professionals are at the frontline of antibiotic resistance and their role in addressing this issue is critical. They help prevent infections (through good hygiene practices, vaccination, etc.), prescribe and dispense antibiotics, care for and educate patients, and are responsible for keeping health care environments clean and safe.
Four major challenges should be recognized and addressed by the world medical community.
- AMDR is extending beyond national boundaries, presenting a significant threat to health and increasing the costs of medical care.
- Collaboration among healthcare, pharmaceutical, agricultural communities and consumers is essential to ward off this evolving pandemic.
- Adequate funding for proactive surveillance and development of new antimicrobial drugs and vaccines should be made available.
- Antibiotic drug stewardship, including education of stakeholders, implementation of hygiene practices and responsible dispensing and use are essential strategic elements of all preventative practices.