The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has cautioned that Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) might be the next pandemic with serious implications on global health, agri-food systems and economies.
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is the ability of microbes to persist or grow in the presence of drugs designed to inhibit them
In a report published on its website on Wednesday, FAO pointed out that at least 700,000 people die each year due to drug resistant diseases.
The international food agency, therefore, urged value chain actors from farmers, cooks, producers and consumers to politicians, students, veterinarians and food packagers, among others, to accelerate efforts towards preventing the drug- resistant microbes.
“Everyone has a role to play in this mission,” FAO said, adding that more common diseases including respiratory tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections are becoming harder to treat.
The UN agency in the report also revealed that drug resistance is increasingly threatening the agri-food systems and global food security
“COVID-19 has shown us that human, animal and environmental health are more interdependent than ever before.
“Pathogens affecting one area can exacerbate challenges in others and have an enormous impact on how we prevent and control health threats to safeguard the world.
“AMR is one of these global threats and it is potentially even more dangerous than COVID-19. It is profoundly changing life as we know it,” the report partly read
On his part, the Deputy Director-General, Maria Semedo in the report said that just like the COVID-19 pandemic, AMR was no longer a future threat.
“It is happening here and now and is affecting us all,” she added
Globally people, animals and plants are already dying of infections that cannot be treated even with the strongest antimicrobial treatments, Semedo added.
“If AMR is left unchecked, the next pandemic we face could be bacterial and much deadlier if the drugs needed to treat it do not work,” she added.
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