MSH Urges Advocacy and Action to Contain Antimicrobial Resistance

HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, diarrheal disease, respiratory tract infections—these major killers in the developing world are becoming resistant to the medicines used to treat them. According to the Center for Global Development, the emergence and spread of drug resistance are draining resources and threatening the ability to treat infectious diseases in developing countries. Through international forums and publications, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) continues to spread the word about ways to contain resistance to antimicrobials.

In September, Dr. Mohan P. Joshi, Senior Technical Manager for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) for the Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) Program, delivered a presentation at the International Pharmaceutical Federation’s annual meeting in Istanbul on how SPS has operationalized the World Health Organization’s global strategy to contain AMR at the country and regional levels in eastern and southern Africa.

[WHO Global Strategy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance]WHO Global Strategy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance

Dr. Joshi emphasized that building AMR advocacy is an important step in mobilizing and sensitizing stakeholders to the importance of containing AMR. He asserted, “While much attention is focused on improving access to antimicrobials, not much is being done to preserve their effectiveness. Advocacy brings the issue to the forefront.”

Although vital, advocacy alone is not sufficient to bring about change: advocacy needs to be the catalyst for specific actions to contain AMR.

In addition, MSH’s Dr. John Chalker serves on the Center for Global Development’s Drug Resistance Working Group with experts from different fields, including the pharmaceutical industry, public health sectors in developing and developed countries, technical and funding agencies, product development partnerships, advocacy organizations, and academia.

The working group is drafting a policy report that identifies practical and feasible actions. The working group also commissioned an analysis of the players involved in the resistance problem and their incentives to engage in activities to address pharmaceutical resistance.