Madda Henry Magbity
Policy Manager, European Public Health Alliance
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a complex public health matter that asks for complex solutions, and it disproportionately impacts marginalised populations across countries.
The pronouncement about the threat of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is real. It continues to put unprecedented pressure on health and care services in Europe, widens health inequities in a post-pandemic society and goes across borders. This calls for coordinated, international and multi-stakeholder action across sectors.
Why AMR is an immense global threat
AMR presents a threat to humanity as grave as climate change, though its symptoms might not be as visible — yet. The WHO reveals that by 2050, at least 10 million deaths a year will be related to drug-resistant superbugs. AMR gravely impacts marginalised populations within countries due to socioeconomic, ethnic, geographic and other barriers. These communities often have restricted healthcare access, compounding the AMR threat.
Stewardship: leading by example
The European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) AMR Strategy 2023–2025 combines all One Health dimensions — health of humans, animals and the environment — in four pillars: awareness, advocacy, scientific evidence and stewardship.
The WHO EURO Roadmap approved at the WHO Regional Committee on 26 October is considered a good example as it sets targets and demands action between sectors and stakeholders.
By 2050, at least 10 million deaths a year
will be related to drug-resistant superbugs.
AMR diplomacy in action in Brussels
Co-hosted by EPHA and Health Care Without Harm, the MEP Interest Group on AMR consists of 18 Members of the European Parliament, committed to strengthening action on AMR at the EU level. The annual meeting took place in Brussels on 24 October 2023.
This year, the event explored issues and impact on human health, animal welfare and ecosystems and discussed practical solutions. With the EU providing strong guidance, it seems Brussels policymakers are ready to take some serious steps towards addressing AMR.
The AMR Stakeholder Network unites
Recognised as a complex health challenge, inaction is not an option. AMR requires the engagement and coordination of all stakeholders.
EPHA is organising the AMR Stakeholder Network, which brings together 60 civil society organisations. The participation of civil society is indispensable to achieving progress. The year 2024 will be a game-changer in the EU elections, and the Alliance aims to ensure that AMR remains at the top of the EU policy agenda.